On the fourth day of the Punchestown Festival, the first gathering in three years took off as it headed towards the home stretch.
Good weather conditions and even a hint of sunshine enticed many to put even more effort into their ensembles in preparation for the biggest day for fashionistas… tomorrow’s Ladies Day.
Wexford designer Julie Caulfield emerged as the clear winner of the Bollinger Best Dressed competition.
Although she gave birth to her first girl 10 weeks ago, she found the time to create a winning outfit of her own. She paired an emerald green two-piece suit with shoes by Steve Madden, a Chanel handbag and a headpiece by Caithriona King in Galway. “I’m a designer, so Ladies Day events would have been very busy for me,” she said. “I have a baby at home so it was all so last minute.
“I’ve been to a few finals, but I’ve never won anything.”
She said her biggest problem ahead of today’s Best Dressed competition grand finale was “finding someone to take care of the baby.”
On the celebrity front, there were several familiar faces in the crowd, including film director Jim Sheridan. He was there with his friend Mike Carty, who owns Rosie O’Grady’s bar in New York. Sheridan wore an ankle boot and said he tore two ligaments – accidentally on his left foot. Following the success of his Sky documentary on Ian Bailey, he revealed he is now turning to a new project, the 1988 Pan Am Flight 103 bombing. “I’m doing a five part TV series about Lockerbie with Sky. It’s in pre-production,” he told the Irish Independent.
There was a huge reaction when champion jockey Robbie Power, 40, announced his retirement live on air on RTÉ, fresh off his Magic Daze win.
Power, who has victories in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Grand National and Irish Grand National, will compete in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle for the last time today.
He said his 21-year career had been marked by “so many highlights” but he retained a special mention for the day he won the Punchestown Gold Cup piloting Sizing John.
“I’ve had so many highs, I’ve had a wonderful career,” Power said. However, the past few weeks with hip pain have been “torture,” he said, adding that Ms Hannah has been very understanding as he has been “very grumpy at times.” His whole family will come to the festival today to see his last race in person.
In the day’s feature race, the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle, the 11/10 favorite Klassical Dream took a superb win for trainer Willie Mullins and jockey Paul Townend.
On the third day of the festival, attendance was strong again with a record 21,357 people attending the Kildare event for the day.
The highest number of visitors so far was 20,756 in 2019.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/horse-racing/punchestown/top-jockey-robbie-to-power-on-one-final-time-today-41598584.html Top jockey Robbie to Power one last time today