Meade praises Punchestown on the back of festival fund boost
Noel Meade believes Punchestown is reaping the rewards for its hard work with the announcement that the prize fund for the festival is to rise by nearly €300,000 to a record €2.9 million total.
The trainer said after the increases were unveiled on Monday: “They've been putting in an awful lot of work for a long time in making the festival what it is, and they deserve to be applauded for their efforts. It’s great news for everybody.”
The new record prize-money total represents a 33 per cent increase since 2013 and guarantees enhancements to prize values across the festival programme.
The purse for the feature race each day rises €50,000 to €250,000, and the minimum value for any race throughout the week has been increased from €12,000 to €15,000.
All Pattern race handicaps will be worth a minimum €60,000, up by €20,000, and every handicap chase will be worth at least €40,000, with handicap hurdle minimums increasing to €30,000.
Punchestown racing manager Richie Galway said: “These significant increases in prize-money are a continuation of our policy to align the festival prize fund with that of the major National Hunt meetings in Britain in order to attract the best of British and Irish horses to Punchestown.
“The key Grade 1 races remain a priority, hence the €50,000 increase to the four feature events, but we're also very conscious all owners should benefit from enhanced prize-money and, similar to our improvements in recent years, we remain very much focused on addressing the values of the overall programme.”