PAT SMULLEN INTERNATIONAL JOCKEY AND GREAT OFFALY SPORTSTAR
The recent death of the great jockey Pat Smullen had a huge effect on the racing fraternity on the one hand but also across all lovers of sport. The man from Rhode Co Offaly left a wonderful legacy as a man and jockey, but he was also an inspiration to all those suffering from cancer. He organised the legends race at The Curragh on September 2019 and helped to raise €2 million last year, with the support of many people, which is being used to battle pancreatic cancer.
I had the pleasure of interviewing him in December 2014 at his home and it was a great honour for me, as he was a remarkable man then and will always be remembered by people who love sport. Sally Ann Grassick got it right at his funeral when she said “he belonged to all of Ireland”. It was his brother Sean (who later went to Canada), who brought him to Joanna Morgan and within a year he was riding thoroughbreds. He left school at 15 y/o to work with Tom Lacy in Rhode, who was famous for his connection with the great mare Height O’Fashion, who gave Arkle and Flyingbolt , two of the greatest ever chasers, their toughest race in the 1960’s. He told me that Lacy’s Power Source at Listowel was his first ever ride and in June 1993 he recorded his first win on Vicosa at Dundalk. He won the apprentice title in 1994 (26 wins) and 1995 (29 wins). This gave him a unique opportunity to ride in the Tokyo World Apprentice Series in Japan.
In October 1996, when Mick Kinane was number 1 jockey with Dermot Weld, Pat got the opportunity to ride a second- string horse called Token Gesture for Weld, with Kinane riding the favourite. On that day he beat Kinane and Christy Roche in a photo finish and he said to me that it was “the turning point of his career”. When Kinane moved to Aidan O’Brien’s, it allowed Dermot Weld to ring him to offer the No1 job at the age of 22y/o. Weld broke records from USA to Australia, including Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle in the Melbourne Cup. As a young jockey with Dermot Weld he learned very fast by arriving on time, not missing work, and controlling his weight. Weld always said he was “the professionals professional”. He was not given credit in Britain or abroad until 2014, when his skills were recognised, as he rode two winners at Royal Ascot. In 2014 Pat won his 7th Irish Jockey Championship and rode over 100 winners. He affectionately, described the remarkable Vinnie Roe as “a brat as a 2y/o”, as he went on to win four Irish St Leger’s between 2001-2004 and he put him on the international stage. The highest point in his career was when he won the Epsom Derby with the Aga Khan’s Harzard in 2016 and also the Irish Derby. He rode many other great horses like Refuse to Bend, English 2000 guineas, Ascot Gold Cup with Rite of Passage, Fascinating Rock, Famous Name (won 20 races) etc.
Pats wife Frances Crowley trained Saoire to win the Irish 1,000 guineas in 2005 and won over 350 races. In his great career Pat rode 1,845 winners in Ireland and 47 in Britain. When he was with Tom Lacey there was a tradition of scratching your name around the old fireplace at the yard, Pat Smullen confirmed to me that he also scratched his name while there and it’s a name that will be embedded in the mind of racing supporters for many years to come. He will be sadly missed.
€75,000 AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National goes to post next Friday, July 10
RTÉ to broadcast Kilbeggan’s flagship race
This Friday, July 10 will see the return of the €75,000 AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National at Kilbeggan Racecourse, one of the most significant steeplechases in the summer racing calendar. The 2020 renewal marks the second year AXA, one of Ireland’s largest and oldest insurance companies, have sponsored the historic race.
RTÉ will feature the AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National in their new one-hour evening programme on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player. The new programme will run from 7pm to 8pm and will be presented by Hugh Cahill with guest analysts joining regulars Jane Mangan, Ted Walsh and Ruby Walsh.
Forty-two entries have been received for the AXA Midlands National Handicap Steeplechase with the Naas Leinster Grand National winner Cap York a likely contender for trainer Noel Meade. Cheltenham Festival winner Early Doors is an interesting entry for trainer Joseph O’Brien while Gordon Elliott has entered 16 horses with Dinons, a three-time winner over fences last season, one of several strong challengers. Henry De Bromhead’s entry Judgement Day has previously won twice in Kilbeggan.
Paddy Dunican, Kilbeggan Manager, said: “We are thrilled that RTÉ will broadcast our AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National live on television, which gives the opportunity to all of Kilbeggan’s great supporters to watch our feature race of the year. The continued support of our sponsor AXA, one of one of Ireland’s leading insurance groups, now specialising in farm insurance, and the additional funding from Horse Racing Ireland, values the race at €75,000.”
Christy Doherty, Head of Agriculture at AXA Ireland said: “AXA Farm Insurance is delighted to continue our support of the Midlands National at Kilbeggan, only a short distance from our Agri Centre in Athlone. AXA appreciate that this has been a really difficult year for many people, but it has also brought out the best in people. We see our support for the Midlands National at Kilbeggan complementing our other initiatives such as Covid Car Cover, AXA Community Hero where we are celebrating the heroes who have made life better for their neighbours and local communities. The Midlands National at Kilbeggan allows us to be part of the farming community who are the backbone of the racing community across rural Ireland. We wish Paddy Dunican, Kilbeggan Racecourse and Horse Racing Ireland the very best with this popular race in the Midlands.”
Jason Morris, Horse Racing Ireland’s Director of Racing, said: “We are looking forward to a high class and competitive renewal of the AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National on July 10 and it is great for Kilbeggan and all National Hunt fans that this highly prestigious contest will be showcased live on RTÉ this year.”
To all our racing customers, participants and visitors, Horse racing Ireland has allowed the resumption of racing under strict new protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to safeguard everyone’s health and wellbeing. Racing returns to Kilbeggan behind closed doors as an event that will not be open to the public. We are very disappointed that all of our great supporters over the years cannot join with us at our forthcoming race meetings and we hope that racing events will return to normality soon and we look forward to welcoming racegoers back to Kilbeggan Races, when it is safe to do so.
Kilbeggan Races Friday the 6th September 2019
FIVE SPONSORED RACES AT KILBEGGAN FINALE NEXT FRIDAY
Kilbeggan Races celebrate’s another outstanding year of racing at its final race meeting next Friday 6th September, starting at 4.15PM. I remember a quote “We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage”. This year, Kilbeggan had plenty of rain before the last meeting but remarkably, it still rose above all that to present a series of great atmospheric and fun filled days of racing for all ages. Paddy Dunican, Manager stated, that “2019 has been a brilliant and historic year for us at Kilbeggan, we have had huge crowds attending our race meetings, with all of Ireland’s top National Hunt Trainers winning races here at Kilbeggan, providing very competitive and exciting racing for our race goers. We experienced a huge increase in sponsorship from business with the most significant been the new sponsorship of our AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National with the Prize Money doubling to €100,000.”
FIVE SPONSORED RACES
With just under €100,000 in prize money and five sponsored races there should be some competitive and exciting racing next Friday. The sponsored races include the Adare Manor Handicap Hurdle of €20,000 over 2 miles 3 furlongs; the newly sponsored Kilsaran Handicap Chase of €20,000 over 3miles 1 furlong should be a thriller; the Midland Breeder’s Beginner’s Chase of €12,500; the Sean Hughes Memorial Maiden Hurdle generously sponsored by Josephine Hughes of the Mullingar Park Hotel; and The Devitt’s and Doheny & Nesbitt Handicap Hurdle generously sponsored by Tom and Paul Mangan of the Mangan Group Dublin. The Pat Doyle Memorial hurdle will also be on the card. The first five favourites won at the last meeting to put punters in good form. Three members of the Mullin’s family won three of the first four races Tom the first race with Tara Dylan, Willie the second with Little Nugget and Tony the fourth race with Josephine. J.P.McManus had a double with Joseph O’Brien’s Top Moon and Henry De Bromhead’s Riviera Sun. Owner /Trainer F.G.Hand caused a surprise in the bumper beating Willie Mullins with Mister Melia (12/1) only his second runner in about 4 years.
MICHAEL HOURIGAN DRAMATICALLY TRUMPS AIDAN O’BRIEN AT KILBEGGAN
This year is 25th anniversary of Michael Hourigan piping the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien in September 1994 for the leading trainer award. Before the last meeting O’Brien had 6 winners and Hourigan had 3 winners. However, the script was thrown away when Hourigan won four races with Muscovy Duck, Butler John, Lantern Luck, and Dancingcinderella to pip O’Brien. Kevin O’Brien then became the first jockey to rider four winners at Kilbeggan. The most interesting runner at the meeting was the Cheltenham Triumph winner Shawiya who fell at the last fence in the lead in the novice chase. A certain Willie Mullins rode Beakstown to win the bumper for his father Paddy. The Greville Arms Leading Jockey Award has Davy Russell, Rachel Blackmore, Denis O’Regan and H.Morgan all on three winners. The Paddy Dunican Auctioneer and Valuer Leading Trainer Award is apparently a straight battle between Gordon Elliott and Henry De Bromhead with five winners each.
Adult Admission is €15, Students & OAP’s €12 with Group Discounts and Children under 16 free including free entertainment. There is a Summer Party Pack for groups of 10 plus for €22 per person, which includes admission for one, a race card voucher, €5 betting voucher and €5 drink voucher. Check http://www.kilbegganraces.com for further information.
This is the last opportunity to enjoy the thrills and joyful atmosphere of Kilbeggan races until next year, so why not get family, friends, and neighbours together for a great occasion. Remember that the first race commences at 4.15pm.
Kilbeggan Races 19th July 2019
THE NEW AXA MIDLANDS NATIONAL OF €100,000 HIGHLIGHT’S KILBEGGAN’S RACING YEAR.
Kilbeggan Races has had many exciting moments since it commenced in 1840 but next Friday, 19th July, commencing at around 5.35pm, will be the greatest moment of this historic course, with prize money of €100,000 in the new Axa Smart Farm Insurance Midland’s National. In 1973 the first two sponsored races took place in Kilbeggan and now the Midland’s National, which commenced in 1997, has gone from €10,000 to a race of €100,000, which makes it one of the top steeplechases in the Summer racing season.
AXA MIDLANDS NATIONAL 2019
Paddy Dunican, Kilbeggan Manager said “We are thrilled to welcome AXA one of the world’s largest insurance groups and number one insurance company in Ireland to sponsor our new AXA Smart Farm Insurance Midland’s National of €100,000, which is the highlight of our racing year. The support of our new sponsor AXA Smart Farm Insurance and the additional funding for feature races from Horse Racing Ireland will double the value of the Midland’s National from €50,000 to €100,000 this year. We are also delighted to announce that Bellamianta Luxury Tanning and Wineport Lodge, sponsors of our Best Dressed Lady Competition, have increased the Prize Fund significantly to be worth in excess of €5,000 for the winner”.
Jason Morris, Director of Racing, Horse Racing Ireland said “We are delighted that on the back of Horse Racing Ireland’s new initiative this year to provide the additional €500,000 in prize money to support the 20 grade 2 and 3 racecourses to enhance the feature race races, KIlbeggan have secured a valuable new sponsor in AXA Smart Farm Insurance , which will see the race double in value this year to €100,000.The Midland’s National has always been a very prestigious race at an extremely well attended fixture, and this substantial prize money boost will further elevate its position , as a major highlight of the summer jumping programme .
Many great horses have raced in Kilbeggan from Cheltenham Gold cup winner Koko to recent dual Aintree Grand National Tiger Roll. A touch of Hollywood has always been present from actress Gene Tierney to legendary Director John Heuston having a runner The Midland National itself commenced in KIlbeggan in 1997 with a touch of drama and Hollywood attached. The race was won by Mouse Morris’s Cristy’s Picnic but amongst the syndicate members who owned the horse were international film director Neil Jordan and actor Stephen Rea. It was also the day that another star the great grey Desert Orchid, the most popular horse in Britain or Ireland, walked around the parade ring. In 2001 Michael Hourigan’s Rockholm Boy won the Midland’s National and just a year later Rockholm Boy went on to win the Galway Plate at 20/1 and perhaps the same could happen this year from the winner of the Axa Smart Farm Insurance Midland’s National?
The other featured races include the handicap hurdle generously sponsored by Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey; Tom Lynam Coola, Kilbeggan is sponsoring a maiden hurdle; and the European Breeders Fund are sponsoring the novice chase. There is also the Tom McCormack Memorial Cup Maiden hurdle honouring the Secretary of the Committee for many years.
Our Best Dressed Ladies competitions have embodied style, glamour and confidence and the event is always a colourful and elegant affair. This element includes the annual Best Dressed Lady Competition with a Prize fund €5,000 for the winner and its sponsored by Bellamianta Luxury Tanning & Wineport Lodge. The judges are Ashlee Coburn, founder of award-winning fashion blog Oh So Femme. A brand ambassador for Bellamianta Luxury Tan, the MUBA Influencer of The Year 2019, ensures she keeps her followers up to date with her fashionable lifestyle. The other judge is Mandy Maher, Catwalk Model Agency. Prizes include a year’s supply of the luxury tan, private collection dress & jewellery, personal training session and much more up to €5,000. The Wineport Lodge prize includes a Woman of Style Weekend with 2 nights stay and all the facilities and a boat trip to Clonmacnoise and much more.
RACE MEETING OF THE YEAR
This unique event is not to be missed with top class racing (seven races) and the great atmosphere that is created in the compact surroundings of the enclosure where everyone feels that the know each other, even though they just met. Arrive early to take in the atmosphere and remember the first race is at 5.35 pm. In addition, there will be live music and for the kids free Bouncing Castles, Obstacle Course etc.
Special Discount Packages for Staff, Customers & Friends
Our normal admission ticket is €15, Students & OAP’s €12. We are offering special discounts on admission tickets at €12 each for groups of 10 or more. We also have our Special Discounted Summer Party Pack from only €22 per person for groups of 10 or more which Includes the following: Admission Ticket + Race card + €5 Tote Betting Voucher + €5 Drink/ Food Voucher. Upgrade your Party Pack with additional €5 Food/ Drink Vouchers & €5 Betting Vouchers. Check out www.kilbegganraces.com to book tickets online and save with special discounts
Kilbeggan Races 19th July 2019
AXA Smart Farm Insurance new sponsors of Kilbeggan’s €100,000 Midlands National
Kilbeggan racecourse and AXA Ireland are delighted to announce that the upcoming July 19th meeting will feature the first ever €100,000 race in the racecourse’s history, the AXA Smart Farm Insurance Midlands National.
One of the most significant steeplechases in the summer racing season, the race has been steadily growing in value and prestige for some time, but this summer, with AXA Smart Farm’s generous involvement, marks a famous moment in Kilbeggan’s history.
Paddy Dunican, Kilbeggan Manager, said: “Our Midlands National is the highlight of our racing year. We are thrilled that with the support of our new sponsor AXA Smart Farm Insurance and the additional funding for feature races from Horse Racing Ireland, the value of the Midlands National will double from €50,000 to €100,000 this year. This massive increase in the prize fund makes it one of the most valuable and prestigious steeplechase races of the summer racing season. AXA is the World’s largest insurance group and number one insurance company in Ireland and we are delighted to be working with them.”
Jason Morris, Director Of Racing, Horse Racing Ireland, said: “We are delighted that on the back of Horse Racing Ireland’s new initiative this year to provide an additional €500,000 in prize money to support the 20 Grade 2 and 3 racecourses to enhance their feature races, Kilbeggan have secured a valuable new sponsor in AXA Smart Farm Insurance which will see the race double in value this year to €100,000. The Midlands National has always been a very prestigious race at an extremely well attended fixture, and this substantial prize money boost will further elevate its position as a major highlight of the summer jumping programme.”
Racing has been continuing at Kilbeggan since 1840, and the Midlands National, run since 1997, always provides serious drama. The inaugural running was won by Mouse Morris’s Cristy’s Picnic and among the syndicate members were international film director Neil Jordan and actor Stephen Rea. It was also the day that another star, the great grey Desert Orchid, the most popular horse in Britain or Ireland, made a guest appearance.
The Midlands National is often a stepping-stone for horses aiming for Galway Plate glory and back in 2001 the Michael Hourigan-trained-Rockholm Boy completed the double.
This element includes the annual Best Dressed Lady Competition with a Prize fund in excess of €3,500 for the winner and its sponsored by Bellamianta Luxury Tanning & Wineport Lodge. Our Best Dressed Ladies have embodied style, glamour and confidence and the event is always a colourful and elegant affair. In addition, there will be live music and for the kids free Bouncing Castles, Obstacle Course etc.
Check out www.kilbegganraces.com to book tickets online and save with special discounts.
Kilbeggan Races 17 June19
GALWAY PLATE TRIAL AT KILBEGGAN RACES NEXT MONDAY
The Galway races is synonymous with great summer racing and people set aside the week as they look forward to the races and all the fun & entertainment that goes with it. Next Monday 17th June Kilbeggan will link up with the Galway Executive with a trial race for the Galway Plate that could give a great insight to the big race. The fixture commences at 6.00PM with 7 races.
WILL THE GALWAY PLATE WINNER BE RUNNING AT KILBEGGAN NEXT MONDAY?
Paddy Dunican, Manager said “Galway Races are celebration their 150th Summer Festival this year, we are honoured to be part of their celebration with Galway Race Committee sponsoring the Galway Plate Trial Handicap Steeplechase of €30,000 at our race meeting on Monday 17th June next. We are delighted that Galway Race Committee have chosen Kilbeggan to stage one of the two qualifying races for the tote.com Galway Plate of €300,000, which is the richest steeplechase of the summer racing season”. The Kilbeggan trial will be just under 2miles 4 furlongs and another trial race will be held in Limerick in July. The winners of these two races will now obtain an automatic place in thetote.com Galway Plate, provided that these horses are within the Handicap. This is an exciting development and should guarantee a great race. The first ever winner of the Galway Plate 150 years ago was Absentee owned by the Bell family and many great Galway Plate winners ran in Kilbeggan from the legendary great Clonsheever (winner in 1923/24), Privit (1917), to Midland’s National winner Rockholm Boy in 2002, when trained by the great Michael Hourigan.
MID SUMMER EVENING RACING
With over €110,000 in prize money at this meeting and the sponsored Carmel Way Novice Chase of €15,000 it looks like an evening of great racing. Interestingly, a number of good novice chasers have raced in Kilbeggan recently. At the last meeting Willie Mullin’s Robin De Carlow won the novice chase easily (he had won a listed and Grade 3 hurdle race) and looks very useful. The first race was won by Paddy Buns at 50/1 with Kevin Brouder his jockey getting a spare ride and he had only been bought by the owners a few weeks before. The well-bred expensive horse Cavalry Master10/1 trained by Henry De Bromhead and owned by Gigginstown House, comfortably beat Willie Mullin’s favourite Think Positive in the bumper.
Admission for adults to the event is €15. OAP’s & Students €12, Children under 16 free (free entertainment for kids)-We are offering special discounts for staff, customers and friends for a group of 10 or more, Special Discounted Admission of €12 per person. We also have our Summer Party Pack which includes; Admission Ticket, €5 Drink Voucher, €5 Food Voucher and Free Race Card at just €22 per person for a group of 10 or more. Book now at www.kilbegganraces.com. It looks like an interesting evening of racing and don’t that it begins at 6pm next Monday
Press Release 24/05/2019
SUMMER FESTIVAL OF RACING AT KILBEGGAN NEXT SUNDAY
The recent warm weather gives people the first scent of summer. In racing terms, the quality of racing gets better, the attendance grows, and the atmosphere heightens, as Summer party begins. Next Sunday is the first Bank Holiday meeting at Kilbeggan, as they present the Summer Sunday Festival on 2nd June for your entertainment at 2pm.
SUMMER SUNDAY FESTIVAL
The Manager Paddy Dunican sums up the occasion “The Summer Sunday Festival provides excitement, colour, and thrilling racing in a brilliant atmosphere, and it’s about people enjoying themselves in a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great opportunity for a group of friends to get together; for a family outing; and some great competitive racing over the jumps on a Bank Holiday weekend. The first two meetings were very successful and this holiday meeting should not be missed by the young or the young at heart”.
In order to build up the excitement there is nothing better than a good 3- mile chase. This year there is the new featured Kilmurray’s Homevalue Hardware Handicap Chase of €30,000 over 3 miles 1 furlong, generously sponsored by Dermot & Conor Kilmurray, Mullingar. Kilmurray’s Homevalue Hardware are builder’s providers, DIY, sand & ready-mix concrete supply the greater midlands region with top quality products. It’s backed up by two other good races. J.P McManus is sponsoring the Adare Manor Maiden Hurdle of €13,000 and the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar are sponsoring the Mares Hurdle of €13,000.
With Live Music and a DJ, music will be echoing across the track, as people enjoy one of the best social occasions of the midlands. Kilbeggan track is compact, which keeps people together with food, drink, betting, laughter, dancing, friends, family all creating a joyful atmosphere in the air. Its not something you want to miss. Admission Prices: General Adult €15; OAP and Students €12 (children under 16 are free). There is a discounted Summer Party Pack for groups of 10 or more for €22, which includes the Admission Ticket, a Race Card, €5 Food Voucher and €5 Drink Voucher .Tickets are available on-line at www.kilbegganraces.com and you can book online to avail of group discount.
MAY MEETING – GET A WINNER AND PUT THE KETTLE ON!
This year got off to a great start with a significant increase in attendance at our last race meeting. The May meeting was good for punters with four favourites winning in a row. Everyone loved Dot Love when her well backed 4/1F Gottnenod won with Cathal Landers on board. The best race of the day in quality was the Noel O’Brien Novice Chase won by Henry De Bromhead’s Judgement Day 9/4F. He had won four of his previous five races and was 5th to Delta Work in a Grade 1 at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting. The trainer has a double with the only mare in the novice chase the appropriately named Put the Kettle On ridden by Robbie Power in a great finish. Gordon Elliott had a double with Arctic Sofia and Mill Quest 7/4F, who owed a lot to jockey Davy Russell.
If next Sunday’s Festival meeting is as good for punters it looks like being a special bank holiday afternoon and don’t forget the first race is at 2PM.
Press Release 14/05/2019
KILBEGGAN WELCOMES AINTREE HERO TIGER ROLL TO THE RACES NEXT FRIDAY
The brilliant victory of Tiger Roll in the Aintree Grand National brings back memories. The world seemed to stop in every town for a day when the big race was on, with tips being passed in hushed whispers. People, who never darkened a bookies office, arrived with a list of each way bets and if you got the winner you became something of a hero in the locality. As a child it was wonderful listening to it on Radio Eireann, as it allowed you to imagine the giant fences like “Beecher’s Brook”, “Valentines Brook”, and “The Chair”. Next Friday’s evening meeting at 5. 10pm is a special day, as Gigginstown House’s dual Aintree Grand National Hero Tiger Roll will be parading in Kilbeggan at the races and bringing back memories of those great days.
TIGER ROLL, GORDON ELLIOTT AND THE KILBEGGAN CONNECTION
The remarkable Tiger Roll became the first back to back Aintree Grand National winner since Red Rum, when he won this year’s big race defeating Jessica Harrington’s Magic of Light and Willie Mullins Rathvinden in a pulsating finish Tiger Roll has now won just under €1.45 million. If he runs and wins the Grand National next year, he will be deemed the greatest Aintree Grand National winner ever, ahead of Red Rum. It’s something the racing world and general public would pay to see. In 2007 Gordon Elliott (29 y/o) was setting out on his career as a trainer with a brand-new licence, but little did he know that that he would have his first ever winner in the Aintree Grand National when Silver Buck 33/1 was successful. Just a month later on 5th May 2007 he had his first Irish winner at Kilbeggan with Toran Road (5/1) ridden by his brother Joey for the now famous (or is it infamous) Barstool Prophets Syndicate. What mightn’t be known is that Tiger Roll won a novice chase at Michael O’Leary’s local course, Kilbeggan in 2016. On 20th June 2016, Tiger Roll ( in the middle of four Cheltenham wins) ridden by Jack Kennedy won a conditional novice chase by 3 ½ lengths and coincidentally, beating two previous novice chase winners the Willie Mullins trained Valyssa Monterg and Jessica Harrington’s Duckweed (the same trainers who were placed in this year’s Grand National!). This is a great opportunity to meet a true champion & legend so come early.
A GREAT EVENINGS RACING WITH SPONSORED RACES
The feature race is the Belvedere House, Gardens & Park Handicap Steeplechase of €20,000 is sponsored by Westmeath County Council and in addition Wright Windows of Milltownpass, Co. Westmeath are celebrating their 50th anniversary in business this year with the sponsorship of The Wright Windows 50th Anniversary Celebration Beginners Steeplechase. Paddy Dunican Managing Director said “We are delighted that Westmeath County Council are sponsoring our Feature Race the Belvedere House, Gardens & Park Handicap Steeplechase of €20,000 and that Pat Geraghty & Ted Cronin of Wright Windows are hosting their Anniversary of Celebrating 50 years in Business at Kilbeggan Races. We are thrilled that Michael O’Leary of Gigginstown House will have Tiger Roll the dual winner of the greatest race in the world, parading at our race meeting”.
The former National Hunt senior handicapper Noel O’Brien will be remembered at Kilbeggan on Friday evening, the race in his honour will be called the “The Noel O’Brien Memorial Novice Hurdle”. He contributed very much to improvements in Irish Racing. Kilbeggan is hosting a Tote day on Friday which means any tote account customer can contact the Tote to claim a free pair of tickets to attend next Friday’s meeting at Kilbeggan.
The May races in Kilbeggan was traditionally a great occasion with local people travelling home from Britain and from all over Ireland. It’s the proper start of the Summer racing over hurdles and fences, as we build up to the Galway races. It is a great opportunity to see a racing champion in Tiger Roll, so arrive early and remember the first race is at 5.10pm.
Press Release 18/04/2019
ANOTHER GREAT YEAR OF NATIONAL HUNT RACING BEGINS AT KILBEGGAN NEXT FRIDAY
Last year was an exciting year for Kilbeggan races, with the three featured meeting’s, including two Best Dressed Ladies competitions, bringing a great atmosphere and visitors from four embassies including Britain. President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgin’s attended the races and met many people through the day, including champion trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott. With the sun on the horizon, next Friday 26th April will bring the first meeting of the year at 4.55pm with seven great races.
BETVICTOR AND FOUR SPONSORED RACES
Paddy Dunican, Manager said “We are delighted to welcome our new sponsor BetVictor who are one of the world’s largest independent bookmakers and an industry leader in betting innovation, with customers from over 150 different countries. They are sponsoring four races with us at Kilbeggan. Last year was a very successful one with significant growth in the number of new people coming to our race meetings. Our biggest growth in attendance is from local business and companies bringing their staff and customers for a day out. We are looking forward to our new season of racing, with 8 race meetings planned from now until next September and we are confident that 2019 will be a great year for us”.
Established in 1946, BetVictor is one of Europe’s leading on-line gambling companies. Its focus is to offer customers a simple and personal betting experience. They have over 500 employees and are established innovator’s in the gambling industry. BetVictor is a partner of Liverpool Football Club since 2016 and the headline sponsor of Cheltenham’s November Meeting including the feature BetVictor Gold Cup. New Racing TV channel. The four races sponsored by BetVictor will provide €50,000 in prize money.
The Irish Thorougbred Breeder’s Association are also contributing to sponsoring the novice chase, which often produces a good horse. Willie Mullins has run future graded & listed horses at Kilbeggan like Aramon, who won a maiden hurdle in KIlbeggan last year before going on to group success. Racing TV are now showing Irish racing since the beginning of this year, with many additional features. The channel broadcasts every race live from 61 racecourses, and 70% of all racing from Britain and Ireland.
ENJOYABLE EVENING OF RACING AND YOU CAN’T WIN WITHOUT THE HORSE!
Racing is all about quality and one hundred years ago in 1919, Clonsheever fell in Kilbeggan when an outsider, but this horse who is deemed to be the greatest Galway Plate winner ever, went on to win the Galway Plate in 1923 and 192. He went for the hat trick in 1925 carrying 13st 11 lbs (and not even Arkle could match that burden) and still finished third. Joe Canty one of the greatest jockeys ever rode his first winner La Ruish that day in Kilbeggan. One story told about him was that he once rode for a Countess. After the horse lost, the Countess chided Canty saying “Canty you didn’t come in time”. He replied “How could I come without the horse, mam”.
Kilbeggan is a compact track in every way and the great advantage is that it creates a wonderful warm atmosphere as everyone is together for the excitement, thrilling finishes, cheering, laughter, and all the things that make a great day out. Come early, and experience it and don’t forget the first race is at 4.55pm.