At a Naas Racecourse launch in Lawlors Hotel in Naas town centre, former Ireland soccer star and hotel co-owner Niall Quinn announced the hotel's continued sponsorship of the Lawlors Hotel Novice Hurdle. The race which is the first Grade 1 race of the 2016 racing calendar takes place on Sunday, 3rd January 2016, at Naas Racecourse.
Top model and broadcaster Daniella Moyles who hails from the town, also launched the first Winter Ladies Day competition at the track which is the first racing fashion event of the year nationally. The most stylish lady will win a Raymond Weil watch worth over €2,250 from Hugh Statham Jewellers.
Tom Ryan, General Manager of Naas Racecourse, announced details of the €2.6million investment into new facilities at the racecourse, which will include a new viewing racing stand, new corporate and dining facilities as well as an interior remodelling of the grandstand.
Tom Ryan said: "Ninety years of racing have now taken place at Naas Racecourse and 2016 will see us evolve the facilities on-course for the coming decades. We have many great memories here, such as, the great Cheltenham champion Mill House winning his first race here in 1961 in the Osberstown Hurdle and of course we remember his breeder and owner Mrs Brigid Lawlor who established Lawlor's Hotel back in 1913."
A total of 37 horses have been entered for the 2016 renewal and trainer Willie Mullins dominates the entries with thirteen entries. Willie attended the launch and confirmed that Bellshill is one of his likely runners having impressively won the Grade 2 Navan Novice Hurdle on Sunday December 13th.
The Lawlor's Hotel Novice Hurdle boasts past champions such as Carvills Hill and Ventana Canyon. Recent renewals of the Novice Hurdle have featured top-class performers such as Briar Hill, Champagne Fever, Rule The World, Lyreen Legend, Venalmar and Pineau De Re. Over the last five years equine graduates from this race have won over €1.2million in prize-money.