Record crowds flock to student race day at Limerick Racecourse

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

FORGET Aintree, Cheltenham, Punch estown; Limerick Racecourse was the centre of the horse racing world last week as almost ten thousand students from Limerick and around Ireland flocked to the annual Student Race Day in Greenmount Park.

FORGET Aintree, Cheltenham, Punch estown; Limerick Racecourse was the centre of the horse racing world last week as almost ten thousand students from Limerick and around Ireland flocked to the annual Student Race Day in Greenmount Park.

The Spin South West FM sponsored race day drew record crowds to Patrickswell with a total of 9,400 students getting ‘glammed up’ for a big day out at the races.

Over 6,000 tickets were sold in advance to students in the University of Limerick, Mary Immaculate College and Limerick Institute of Technology, while students from the Shannon Hotel Management College, St Patrick’s College in Thurles and fellow students from Cork, Galway and Dublin all made the trip to the first evening of flat racing at Limerick Racecourse this year.

Russell Ferris, general manager of Limerick Racecourse, said it was an “unbelievable night”.

“The entire team have worked tirelessly over the past eight months to ensure the success of last year’s event was built upon and everyone got their just rewards last Tuesday night as the gate almost doubled on last year,” he told the Leader.

“It is a race evening such as Tuesday which proves why we are all working to get the younger generation through the turnstiles, the atmosphere the students generate is electric and is savoured by all who are lucky to be in attendance. I have never before heard a crowd cheering from the horses leave the stalls to they are crossing the finishing line, it is truly a wonderful experience,” he added.

Gates for the student day opened at 3pm and Russell and his team were hugely impressed at the “high fashion” on display among the crowds that turned out.

Spin Southwest held a ‘Best Dressed in Pink’ competition in the Munster Suite in the racecourse’s corporate area, with competition said to be fierce among those who entered.

DJs from the youth-orientated station entertained the masses after racing was finished, as did local cover band Zoot Allure, who played in the Tote area.

Limerick Racecourse is gearing up for a summer of racing with the next meet scheduled for May 2 and the Twilight racing season starting on Saturday June 11.