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26 Jun 2022

Great atmosphere at Summer Barbecue meeting at Clonmel Races

Large crowds flock to evening meeting at Powerstown Park

Great atmosphere at Summer Barbecue meeting at Clonmel Races

Above: John O’Dwyer and Tadhg Buckley of Bulmers made a presentation to the Cloud Nine Syndicate from Adare, Co Limerick following the success of Cornerkova in the Bulmers Zero Beginners Steeplechase at Clonmel Races

Bulmers are on to a winner with their sponsorship of last Friday evening’s popular Summer Barbecue Race meeting in Clonmel where groups of local businesses, together with repeat customers, generated a great atmosphere around the two stands.
Out on the track, Waterford trainer Henry de Bromhead took the training honours with a 95/1 chase double via Cornerkova and Withallduerespect for two different jockeys in Conor Brassil and Charlie O’Dwyer and they were cheered home by an enthusiastic crowd, celebrating racing’s return to near normality following two difficult years of Covid. This particular fixture was returning to Powerstown after an absence of three years and it took a lot of work to come to fruition.
Bulmers have been producing their iconic Irish cider in Clonmel since 1935 and Tadhg Buckley, the company’s regional sales manager for Munster and predominantly the south, worked alongside Tipperary hurler John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer from Killenaule, who is responsible for Bulmers’ business development in Tipperary, and the racecourse’s sales and marketing manager Eugene Cooney and caterers Masterchefs to pull the day together.
Said Buckley, who manages a team of ten within Bulmers “We’ve been working for 12 months to make it happen and it’s really important for us within the factory and the town – I think we all deserve it after what we’ve been through and we’re in it for the long term.”
Another of the feature events was the Quirke UPVC Windows (Clonmel) Opportunity Handicap Chase, sponsored by Eugene Quirke who operates out of Gurtnafleur Business Park. Charlie O’Dwyer’s mount Withallduerespect was driven out to claim the spoils by a decisive four and three-quarters of a length and the trainer credited her rider with his second success over fences.
De Bromhead said “She’s a nice mare who has always jumped really well and we always hoped she would make a better chaser than a hurdler. Charlie was brilliant on her and chasing will be her game for the summer. I’m delighted for all my riders today and these races are a great opportunity for them.”
Tadhg Buckley had earlier made a presentation to Ruby Walsh, accepting on behalf of Willie Mullins, following the short-priced success of the odds-on favourite Bacardys in the Bulmers Light Beginners Chase. A dual Grade 1 winner over hurdles, the 11-year-old was opening his account over fences at the tenth time of asking and was well-handled by Kieran Callaghan, who looks to have a good future ahead of him.
The 18 year-old commented “He jumped very well and I still had plenty left when the second horse began to close. He wasn’t doing much with me in front.”

Above: Withallduerespect was the winner of the Quirke uPVC Windows Handicap Chase at Clonmel last Friday and Sean Bates, representing sponsors Eugene and Margaret Quirke, presented the trophy to the successful One In The Barrell Syndicate from County Meath

Racing, however, wasn’t the only entertainment on offer as the Uproar Rock Chorus, who are mainly from Clonmel and perform at many local charity events and fundraisers, were in fine voice in front of the Club Stand. During Covid, Clonmel Racecourse was pleased to offer them the use of Powerstown for rehearsals and the choir offered to sing for them here as a gesture of thanks.

Meanwhile, upstairs in the Club Stand bar a number of tables, reserved for local businesses and groups, were filled to capacity with happy revellers. Over 100 staff from Tipperary County Council were enjoying their evening, among them Mark Bradshaw and Aidan Fox, both from Clonmel who commented “We’re having a lovely evening and the food is lovely and tasty.
“We’re here more for the social aspect and are finding it very relaxing out in the sunshine. It means we’re not all inside and the barbecue meal deal is great value – it really is.”
Nearby, members of a 12-strong group from Clonmel Healthcare were celebrating the 21st birthday of Conor Whelan from Carrick-on-Suir.
“We’re all loving it and come every year. We all got the meal deal and it’s a lovely way to spend a birthday,” said Conor.

Over 500 barbecue tickets were sold in advance and a group from Anthony’s Inn in Piltown also took a table. It was their second visit to Powerstown and they all agreed “Everything is excellent, very good.” Teresa Byrne and her husband Billy from Piltown were in company with a smiling Tom Quinn.

Dublin woman Jacqui O’Sullivan and her husband Peter from Bansha, who are regulars at both Clonmel and Tramore, were also entering into the swing of things, saying “We’re well-fed and watered and having a ball. It’s nice to have an excuse to dress up and there’s great energy in the room.”

Racing now takes a break from Powerstown Park until Thursday September 1. The next event taking place there is Clonmel Show on Sunday July 3. 

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