The grade 2 Elliott Group Craddockstown Novice Steeplechase worth €42,500 is one of the highlights on the opening day of top-class action at the home of Irish jump racing.
The brilliant Sizing John is among the previous winners of the Elliott Group Craddockstown Novice Chase and last year’s victor Voix de Reve trained by Willie Mullins went on to land grade 1 success in the Ryanair Gold Cup at the Easter meeting in Fairyhouse.
Punchestown racegoers will have enjoyed the results of the Elliott Group’s work at the track as the Cavan based firm were the lead contractor for the recently completed €6 million capital development plan. Phase one of the project was the refurbishment of the main grandstand, visiting press facility, public toilet block, winners lounge and perhaps one of the most successful transformations in the La Touche Restaurant overlooking the winner’s enclosure.
This work was swiftly followed by the construction of the Hunt Stand launched on the opening day of the 2018 Punchestown Festival. This building replaced the ‘old stand’ and is home to the Goffs Owners and Trainers Lounge, Bollinger Lounge, Corinthian Restaurant, Festival Bar and offers unrivalled views of the final fence, hurdle and finishing straight.
The final phase of this particular development and perhaps the most impactful work carried out as it benefits all racegoers is the Legends Garden landscaping work. This element has transformed the Punchestown general enclosure. Hard and soft landscaping including almost 8,500 square metres of tarmac, 5,000 flower bulbs, over 1200 shrubs and 30 trees has created not only a sense of arrival but a functional and pleasant space in what was a vast open area.
“The Punchestown Project was a unique one for us and we worked very closely with the team at Punchestown to deliver a high-quality end product on budget and on time,” said Noel Elliott, Executive Chairman of the Elliott Group.
“As a company, we have enjoyed great staff and corporate outings at Punchestown and are delighted to sponsor at the Winter Festival. It’s a great platform to create awareness about the business and to check up on the finished product.”
“The capital redevelopment project at Punchestown was a massive but much-needed undertaking for us both financially and from personnel involvement also. We soon built a great working relationship with the Elliott group and whilst we were very aware that we were operating to both a tight timeline and budget felt that Noel and his team were as invested in the project as we were,” added Punchestown General Manager Richie Galway.
“Attention to detail, functionality and finish were key for this project. Even when Punchestown was under almost two metres of snow in areas in March 2018 the Elliott crew were onsite because they knew there was no extension – once the last Tuesday in April arrived we had to have the new Hunt Stand open for business.”
Image credit: Punchestown