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Barberstown Castle was today unveiled as a major player on the Irish hotel and sporting hospitality scene with the announcement of a dual racecourse sponsorship that will see the county Kildare venue feature at both Punchestown, the home of Irish jump racing and The Curragh, home of Irish Flat racing.
The newly sponsored €125,000 Grade 1 Barberstown Castle Novice two mile chase is one of the features on Punchestown Festival Thursday. The race is arguably one of the most prestigious of its category on the calendar with an all-star line-up of previous winners including Douvan, Moscow Flyer, Un De Sceaux, War Of Attrition, Chacun Pour Soi and Big Zeb. British trainers have fared well in this contest with Tom Geroge’s Gods Own and the Philip Hobbs trained Captain Chris both landing the spoils. This feature sponsorship is part of a multi-year accommodation partner arrangement at the famous jump season grand finale.
Meanwhile, across the county at flat racing headquarters, Barberstown Castle will become an official hotel partner of the racecourse in an overall package that includes the sponsorship of the five race ‘Barberstown Castle Series’. The first leg of this initiative kicks off on the opening day of the flat season, this Saturday 26th March and takes in races at some of the major classic weekends before the finale on 23rd October.
Amanda Torrens, the new owner of Barberstown Castle who also has enjoyed success as a racehorse owner commented on the announcement: “Our vision is clear, we wish to establish Barberstown Castle as the first choice for the racing community, horse tourism and bloodstock industry. We embrace the wonderful opportunity to partner with both the home of Irish jump and flat racing. Barberstown Castle is open for business and we look forward to welcoming the racing family here. It is wonderful to be in a position to combine two of my passions, racing and Barberstown in this exciting venture”.
Highly regarded in the hotel industry, Barberstown Castle’s Managing Director Ted Robinson welcomed the news: “ These are exciting times at Barberstown Castle because with racing power houses like The Curragh and Punchestown preparing to launch their seasons we here at the hotel are preparing to relaunch and rebuild this wonderful historic venue. We have 60 bedrooms, are located 30 minutes from Dublin airport, 20 minutes from both racecourses. We are situated at the gateway to the thoroughbred county and Hidden Heartlands and we are excited for what this venture will bring.
Punchestown’s Conor O’Neill commented: “This partnership is the ideal collaboration in the sense that both the Barberstown Castle and Punchestown teams share the ethos that the racing experience does not begin and end at the racecourse. Indeed, it is the hospitality, value, quality of food and accommodation and the money can’t buy aspect of genuine friendliness that sets the experience apart and makes visitors return again and again. This is why the whole package needs to work. There is no more powerful marketing tool than the word of mouth and we look forward to working with Amanda, Ted and the Barberstown team to achieve this joint ambition. O’Neill added “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing sponsor Ryanair who have transported so many of our overseas clients to the festival and will continue to do so before their onward journey to our hotel partners like Barberstown Castle!”
Evan Arkwright, Curragh Racing and Sponsorship Manager said,
“We are delighted that Amanda Torrens and her team at Barberstown Castle have joined our portfolio of sponsors and look forward to developing a long and successful partnership with particular emphasis to work with them on a variety of initiatives to raise the profile of the hotel and to ensure the Castle is one of the premier destinations for our many overseas visitors. The race series will be an exciting addition to our season and it is very positive that stable staff will be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication
The Barberstown Castle Series will kick off this Saturday, 26th March, followed by races taking place during the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival, Juddmonte Irish Oaks Weekend and Goffs Million Race Day, while the finale of the series will feature on Sunday 23rd October.
The winning owner, trainer and jockey of all five races will win a voucher to include an overnight stay in the hotel, while the trainers of the first four horses in each race will accumulate points with the highest point scorer winning a cash prize to be donated to the charity of their choice.
The Grade 1 Barberstown Castle Novice Champion Chase will take place on Thursday 28th April on day three of the 2022 Punchestown Festival.