A very successful three-day Easter Festival ended at Fairyhouse on Tuesday, showing an aggregate attendance in excess of 27,000 racegoers, representing an increase of 20% on the 2010 Festival all thanks to a concerted Ladbrokes marketing campaign and the great weather.
Ladbrokes were the first-time sponsors of the historic Irish Grand National and the 140th running of the traditional Easter Monday highlight saw the firm report a record multi-million turnover on an event that attracted blanket media coverage.
Their initiative combined with intensive promotion by Acting Manager Peter Roe and his team saw 15,200 people witness a memorable Ladbrokes Irish Grand National triumph by 26 year old, Meath native Nina Carberry partnering Organisedconfusion trained by her uncle Arthur Moore.
Just the second woman rider to taste Easter Monday glory, Nina became the sixth member of her extended family to make it on to the great race’s roll of honour, a day after older brother Paul won the Powers Gold Cup on Realt Dubh for trainer Noel Meade.
It was the turn of reigning champion trainer Willie Mullins on Tuesday afternoon to capture the honours as Weatherbys Ireland GSB Hurdle favourite Twinlight (5/4) made a successful Irish debut in somewhat fortunate circumstances in an incident-packed Grade 3 affair before Lambro (6/1) short-headed outsiderMackeys Forge in a thrilling finish to the Grade 2 Coolmore National Hunt Sires Ask & Getaway Novice Hurdle.
Joint favourite Jack Cool (5/1) was a third scorer of the festival for the Charles Byrnes-Davy Russell partnership in the Grade B www.thetote.com Handicap Hurdle but the Grade A Dan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase prize went to the Paul Cashman-trained Idarah (25/1) while the concluding €100,000 Tattersalls Ireland Sales Bumper also produced a surprise outcome as Paul Nolan’s debutante Rising Time (16/1) outpaced English-trained favourite Theatre Guide.