Punchestown: ticket sales for the five-day meeting up 23 per centPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Punchestown expects huge crowd from Britain
PUNCHESTOWN is expecting "more visitors than ever" from Britain as it reported ticket sales for its five-day festival, beginning on Tuesday, up 23 per cent.
As well as increased early ticket sales, the track is expecting 14,000 in corporate hospitality over the five days with Thetote.com Punchestown Gold Cup Wednesday already sold out, the Rabobank Champion Hurdle Friday needing a waiting list and only limited availability for Tuesday's Boylesports.com Champion Chase card.
Cheaper hotel prices and festival special offers has led to the majority of the meeting's pre-sales coming from British racegoers, according to the track's sales and marketing director Liam Holton.
He said: "The €19 party pack has been a real success but still the majority of our pre-sales have been from customers in Britain and I think we could have more than ever.
"We've got deals with our sponsors the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel and the Avon Ri Resort but all the local hotels have offers too and I believe the Osprey Hotel in Naas and Killashee House Hotel nearby have already sold out their deals.
"As well as that, hotels have cut their prices this year and the cheap flights available from the likes of Ryanair make it a far more a attractive event to travel to."
Last year, Saturday's crowd rivalled Friday as the long-reigning biggest of the week and Holton expects that with the €10 reduction to general admission tickets for that day, Tuesday and Wednesday, it will once again be the second largest of the festival.
He said: "Saturday is going to be a close second to Ladies' Day. Public sales are already almost matching Friday so we're expecting another very big number."