GALLERY: Always something for everyone at the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse

The Fairyhouse Easter Festival is all things to all men and women. This weekend the Ratoath venue served as part of the politician's campaign trail, party central for enthusiastic young racegoers, a bull ring for those hoping to make a few quid and a theatre of dreams for owners, trainers and jockeys.

The big winner of the weekend was Trim trainer, Tom Gibney who stole the show on Easter Monday when his charge Intense Raffles claimed the Irish Grand National in a thrilling finish to see off Ted Walsh's Any Second Now.

After a slow start to the Festival Willie Mullins dominated the last two days with five winners on Sunday and three more on Monday, but there was also joy for other Meath trainers with Gordon Elliott and Gavin Cromwell taking their place in the winner's enclosure.

Winning connections weren't the only ones having their flesh pressed as high profile politicians also did their rounds with Fine Gael out in force to support their European election hopeful, Nina Carberry.

Of course Nina knows her way around Fairyhouse better than anyone and the former Irish Grand National winning jockey was on hand to guide Taoiseach-elect Simon Harris and the out-going incumbent Leo Varadkar around the venue, while another local TD, Justice Minister Helen McEntee was also on the right-hand of the new Fine Gael boss.

Lisa Walsh won Best Dressed, wearing a headpiece made during the week by Meath milliner Fiona Rafter.

With new catering areas and bars aplenty at Fairyhouse the course was the place to be for younger race-going fraternity who were out to mix their racing with a good time and they weren't disappointed.

Attendances looked to be down on previous years and the inclement weather on Easter Monday didn't help that particular cause, but there was no drop in the quality of racing and the Fairyhouse Easter Festival continues to be the pinnacle of the Irish National Hunt season.

- See Sport for full coverage and analysis of three great days of racing