Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's All about the Craic on Guinness St Patrick's Day

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

It's All about the Craic on Guinness St Patrick's Day

Article excerpt

IT has been said that more Guinness is spilt at the Cheltenham Festival than Champagne is drunk at Royal Ascot.

If Newcastle Racecourse's annual St Patrick's Day meeting is anything to go by, then that claim would seem more than accurate as the North East's own Irish inspired day of revelry inevitably generates a healthy thirst for the black stuff.

And the meet at Gosforth Park is intrinsically linked with the Cheltenham affair. Following hot on its heels, Newcastle gets underway on Saturday, March 19, with the Cheltenham finale taking place on that Friday.

Inevitably, hordes of smiling Irishmen make their way up to Newcastle from the Festival along with those that will be travelling direct from the Emerald Isle to watch their countrymen and Irish trained mounts compete, adding a genuine take on the 'craic' to the North East's own St Paddy's celebrations.

On the track, the competition is almost as fierce as the partying and Guinness St Patrick's Day will offer up some quality jumps action, representing one of the high points in the North East's racing calendar with thousands packing into the course for the occasion. At the five day stage last year there were over 200 entries on the slate which were whittled down to a very competitive card and more of the same is expected this year. James Armstrong, clerk of course at Newcastle Racecourse, said: "Guinness St Patrick's Day offers a huge amount as a sporting and social occasion, which is undoubtedly why it is so popular with the punters, pulling in thousands every year.

"The day is a genuine celebration of all things Irish and we're likely to have a good few come over for the day which ensures our event is one of the biggest and most authentic St Paddy's bashes in the region."

After racing the bars will stay open on the course and live Irish music from Granny Smith's Maggot will keep the action going at a high tempo before the racegoers finally make their way home or take the short ride into Newcastle's city centre to celebrate their winnings. …

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