There’s nothing quite like a day at the races and there’s no place like Stradbally Hall.
Put the two together and you have a unique racing experience. Point to Point racing returns to the picturesque Stradbally venue this Sunday, May 14, with six races on the card.
While it comes just a couple of weeks after the most recent meet in Stradbally it is the last chance for locals to experience the event up close this year. It won’t return to Laois until next April so the advice this Sunday is to hop in your car, head for Stradbally and make a day for it.
“We are very grateful to the Cosby Family for the use of their land at Stradbally,” said David Lalor one of the organisers. “Not only is it a lovely setting, it’s also considered one of the best point to point tracks in the country. It has produced many top racehorses over the years.
“Over the years we’ve had some of the top jockeys and racehorses. The likes of Ted Walsh, Ruby Walsh and Davy Russell – among many others – have started out in Point to Points and so have a lot of the top horses. The likes of Denman, Best Mate, Hurricane Fly all started out at Point to Points.
“I also saw One for Arthur, who won the Grand National this year, at a Point to Point in Wexford. The thing with Point to Point is that you might not have heard of the horses before – but you will hear of a lot of them again.”
And another enjoyable aspect of the Point to Points, like the one at Stradbally, is the special atmosphere. It has all the usual trappings of a day at the races – including the bookies.
“It’s the original form of racing,” adds David. “You’re really close to the horses and have a really good view of the action. We have a lovely setting for it and it lends itself to coming along, bringing a picnic and enjoying the races.”