Sean Kealy of Lawlor’s Hotel and Tom Ryan, Naas Racecourse manager.

The first major racing event of the year will once again be taking place at Naas Racecourse on Sunday January 6, when the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle goes to post at the Kildare venue.

In what will be the first Grade 1 race of 2019, a stellar field of early entries was declared by Ireland’s leading trainers at the official launch in The Birdcatcher Suite at Naas Racecourse today, Tuesday December 18.

The launch of the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle and Winter Ladies Day was attended by some of the biggest names in Irish horse racing, including leading trainers Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott and Jessica Harrington.

Naas Racecourse Manager Tom Ryan hosted a large group of racing fans, including Sean Kealy and Fionna Feehan representing title sponsors Lawlor’s of Naas Town Centre Hotel.

Also in attendance was Councillor Sean Power, Allan Shine, CEO of Kildare Chamber, and Richard Brophy, Naas Racecourse board member.

Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins.

Among some of the eye-catching names that will be battling it out in the €90,000 race on the first Sunday of the new year is the highly rated Battleofdoyen who booked his place in the race last Sunday at Navan according to trainer Gordon Elliott, while champion trainer Willie Mullins looks set to saddle the Grade 1 bumper winner Tornado Flyer in what promises to be a vintage renewal of the race. A total of 44 horses have been entered for the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.

The excitement is not just confined to the track, however, as the Best Dressed Lady competition once again promises to attract some exquisite style. The theme for this year’s competition is Fashion Through Time, and ladies are being encouraged to take inspiration from their favourite era of fashion when choosing their outfit for the day. An amazing list of prizes worth €4,250 is up for grabs in the Best Dressed Lady competition.

Model and lifestyle guru, Rosanna Davison, will be leading a team of judges who will be working their way around Naas Racecourse to pick out the finalists, each of whom will receive a prize, before selecting the overall winner.

Rosanna Davison said: “If you love the fashion of the 1940s, then you might want to take your inspiration from that time, which was synonymous with its nipped in waists and fitted coats and jackets. Or maybe you might love the glamour of the 1920s or the colour and fun of the 1980s. It’s all about pulling a look together from a time and era that you love and inspires you. Of course, that look doesn’t have to go through the whole outfit, it can just be a nod to a particular time in fashion. In my mind, the winner will have been inspired by a particular era but will make her whole outfit her own.”

The Best Dressed Lady on the day will win €1,500 worth of hairdressing and accessories from the prestigious hair salon, Alan Keville for Hair, a €1,500 voucher from Residence Day Spa in Naas and a luxurious stay at Lawlor’s of Naas Town Centre Hotel. There will also be hair and spa vouchers from the two fashion partners for four runners-up on the day. Rosanna will be supported in her endeavours by a representative of each of the fashion sponsors and by Anna Fortune, Commercial Manager of The Kildare Post who is the media partner for the race day.

The Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle and Winter Ladies Day is one of the most important meetings for Naas Racecourse each year, and this is the fifth year that Lawlor’s of Naas have provided the title sponsorship of the big race.

Thom Malone interviews Willie Mullins, Jessica Harrington and Gordon Elliott.

Speaking at the launch of the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle and Winter Ladies Day, Tom Ryan, Manager of Naas Racecourse, said; “We are delighted to see such a strong selection of early entries for the Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle once again this year, and, judging by the entries, I am sure that this will be the best renewal of this race yet. This is one of our premier days at Naas Racecourse each year, and we are grateful to sponsors, such as Lawlor’s of Naas who continue to support us as we bring top class racing to Naas.

“It is a great time of year for National Hunt racing, as it comes after the hectic Christmas schedule, and it’s a good time for the people of Naas to get out of the house on a Sunday and take in some great live sport and sample the atmosphere here.”

Naas Racecourse have also announced that they will be giving local traders a 50% discount on admission tickets for the January fixture as part of their initiative to get more local businesses involved in racing in the town.

There are seven races on the card on January 6, with the first going to post at 12:50pm. Admission tickets are €15 and a range of hospitality packages are also available.

For further information, to purchase tickets or hospitality packages call Naas Racecourse on 045 897 391 or visit