Pictured at the launch of the Kinsale point to point were Jane O'Sullivan in the jockeys colours with Isabelle Lordan and Frank O'Keeffe and his horse Jessie. Pic: Denis Boyle

AS the 2012 season draws to a close, the Kinsale Point-to-Point promises a nail-biting grand finale.

Local trainer Robert Tyner is locked in a fight to the finish with Wexford-based Colin Bowe for the Handlers Championship.

Both are on 23 points as they head to Farrangalway, and Gordon Elliot is breathing down their necks on respectable 19.

All three will be wheeling out their big guns in pursuit of the trainers’ trophy.  Record-breaking rider Derek O’Connor looks unbeatable in the Riders Championship, having built up a solid lead before a broken leg forced him out of action earlier this year.

He’ll have a tougher challenge on his hands to take the Southern Championship, where he is currently neck-and-neck with Declan Queally on 27 points apiece.

Gerry Wycherley, Chairman of the Organizing Committee said, “Most of the major championship races are down to the wire and Kinsale Point to Point will be the decider.  There’s great excitement in the Lady Riders’ Championship too.

“This year, by kind permission of the Turf Club, the Ladies’ Grand National has been moved from Saturday evening to Sunday afternoon, making Sunday a spectacular Ladies’ Day.

“Katie Walsh currently leads the field on 14 points, with Liz Lalor hot on her heels on 9, so Kinsale Point to Point will be even more exciting than usual this year.

“A huge thanks to all our sponsors without whose support we would not be able to attract this calibre of horse, jockey and trainer. ”

Michel Jewellers of Cork will sponsor the Ladies’ Grand National and have commissioned a beautiful new trophy featuring delicate Italian enamel work to be presented to the winner.

Michel Jewellers will also be main sponsor of the hugely popular Best Dressed Lady competition on Sunday afternoon, with The Old Head Golf Links sponsoring Best Dressed Gent.

There is a whole host of other fabulous prizes from Divine Gowns of Kinsale, Celestine McCoy of Hattitude, personal trainers Rogue Fitness, Wayne Lloyd Creative Hairdressing, Anika and Sandra Beauty Salon, Carlton C Spa, Daisychain Florist, Kinsale Crystal, O’Brien’s Saddlery, and Warren Allen Collections of Bandon.

Point-to-Point Clerks of the Course Donal Lordan and Eugene McKenna said, “We got great compliments from jockeys and trainers on the condition of the ground last year, so we are under fierce pressure to do even better this time around.

“The course is under constant inspection and plans are in place to aerate and water as necessary. Watch our website and Facebook page for updates.”

Alongside the glamour and top class racing, “Sunday is funday” for all the family with free entertainment for kids including a bouncing castle and slide, face painting, pony rides, pet farm and other fun and games.

The ever-popular dog show is back, including the doggy fancy dress competition, plus shows for serious canine enthusiasts with categories for hounds and working dogs.

All the local talent will be out in force at the Farrangalway course on Sunday, June 3rd from celebrity chef Martin Shanahan with his Fishy Fishy champagne marquee to Anthony Collins of the White Lady Hotel, whipping the crowd into party mood with music and his inimitable commentary on the social side of the day.

Cork band Celtic Knights will play outside the bar after the last race on Sunday and there will be a free shuttle bus from Kinsale Tourism Office.

 

Visit www.kinsalepointtopoint.ie for more information.