On the big screen: Fairyhouse opens its doors to host drive-in cinema

Fairyhouse: plays host to good racing along with Tramore on New Year's Day
Fairyhouse: hoping to host the BoyleSports Irish Grand National next monthCredit: Patrick McCann

Officials at Fairyhouse are continuing to monitor Covid-19 developments with regard to next month's BoyleSports Irish Grand National but have undertaken a novel venture in the meantime, operating a drive-in cinema on track.

Thursday saw the first movies to be screened at the course with tickets available to be scanned through car windows in order to comply with social distancing protocol, as well as a limit of 100 cars allowed at each presentation.

Fairyhouse general manager Peter Roe explained: "Retro Drive-In Movies and the team at Mongey, who provide the screens on our racecourse, came to us with the idea and it seems a very interesting initiative.

"At a time when there's uncertainty in every business, it's great to have a source of income such as this and we're delighted to be providing a service to families needing entertainment."

He added: "Leopardstown are also involved in doing similar and I understand there have been calls to the team running the movies about British tracks possibly doing this too."

Tiger Roll: a possible runner in the BoyleSports Irish Grand National
Tiger Roll: a possible runner in the BoyleSports Irish Grand NationalCredit: Edward Whitaker

The new development came on the day Delta Work and Tiger Roll were revealed as the top two weights for the €500,000 BoyleSports Irish Grand National, which is fixed to take place on Monday, April 13 should racing remain ongoing by that stage.

Gordon Elliott is responsible for 24 of the 97 entries, while Willie Mullins has put forward 17 possible runners. There were also 18 British-trained entries, including Paul Nicholls' Black Corton and the Nicky Henderson-trained Ok Corral.

Roe said: "The standard of entries for the BoyleSports Irish Grand National is fantastic and we just hope that we get to the stage where it all materialises.

"It's obviously a day-to-day situation and we'll continue to follow the guidance of Horse Racing Ireland, while continuing preparations for Easter."

Irish Grand National entries

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Mark BoylanReporter

Published on 20 March 2020inNews

Last updated 09:27, 20 March 2020