100 Years And Counting! Naas Racecourse Launches Centenary Book

A large crowd gathered at Swans on the Green in Naas, Co. Kildare last night (21st November) for the official book launch of ‘The Centenary of Naas Racecourse’. The beautiful, hardback book celebrates the 100th anniversary of Naas Racecourse and is written by well-known author, Turtle Bunbury.

Larry Swan of Swans on the Green officially welcomed the guests before handing over to the MC, Aileen O’Brien who interviewed Bill Clear, The Mayor of Naas, Turtle Bunbury and Naas Racecourse Director, Richard Brophy.

Mayor Clear said, “Naas Racecourse is an integral part of the town of Naas, it’s unusual to have a track that is so centrally located and it’s very much part of our community”. He went on to say that the team at Naas Racecourse are always very supportive of local people and community groups and said he himself has fond memories of some great days out at Naas races.
Richard Brophy thanked Larry Swan and his team for their hospitality and said it was a proud day for the Board of Naas that this project had come to fruition. He went on to say that Dermot Cantillon, the Chairman of Naas Racecourse had been instrumental in getting the project completed and congratulated all involved.

Aileen O’Brien then went on to chat to the author, Turtle Bunbury, and asked him how he went about researching the book. “We found thousands and thousands of press clippings,” he said, “It was incredible to find so many interesting articles and features that went back so many years ago.” He spoke about some of the famous horses that had taken glory at the track and the list read like a ‘who’s who’ of equine superstars. He also spoke about the indelible mark that several women have left on the history of the track and highlighted first female trainer to have a winner in Ireland at Naas Racecourse, Mrs Biddle, Mrs Lawlor of Lawlor’s Hotel and Mrs McGuinness who was the manager at Naas Racecourse for forty years.

The book traces the evolution of the track from a humble field on the outskirts of a bustling Irish market town to its present-day status as one of Europe’s best-loved boutique racecourses. It goes through the history of Naas Racecourse over the last century with significant information and photographs of each decade included throughout.

This fascinating publication also tells the story of the farmers and sportsmen who founded the racecourse, and highlights some of the politicians, film stars and royals who have rubbed shoulders on the track over the last 100 years. Walt Disney came racing at Naas in the 1950s and there was great excitement and much surprise when a bearded and long-haired Robert De Niro attended, casually walking about with the punters and racegoers. Other famous visitors include Count John McCormack, Brendan Behan, Prince Aly Khan (husband of the actress Rita Hayworth), Adele Astaire (sister of Fred Astaire), Bono, President Hillary and former Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave.

The guests enjoyed light refreshments and the book officially went on sale. ‘The Centenary of Naas Racecourse’ is now available to buy from www.naasracecourse.com (€50 plus post and packaging).

Buy the book via the link below:


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