A section of the large crowd which attended the opening day of the Limerick Christmas Racing Festival on St Stephen's Day St Stephen's Day
ANOTHER bumper attendance is expected to flock to Greenmount Park for the second day of the Mr Binman Limerick Christmas Racing Festival at Limerick Racecourse.
The four-day fixture is the biggest annual National Hunt meeting in Munster and this year's event is the first green racing festival where all involved have committed to reducing single use plastics.
The event which runs until Sunday, December 29 in Patrickswell, boasts €575,000 in prize money, a 5% increase on 2018 levels.
The Mr Binman Limerick Christmas Racing Festival is one of the biggest highlights of the local social and sporting calendar and provides a multimillion euro bonanza for the local economy, through racecourse direct sales, service contractors, bookmakers, hotels, restaurants, transport providers and employment provided.
A highly impressive 14,106 patrons thronged the enclosures on St Stephen's Day where former Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner Faugheen added the Grade 1 €100,000 Matchbook Betting Exchange Novice Chase to the glittering array of prizes won over the smaller obstacles.
The December 27 feature race at Limerick Racecourse is the Lyons of Limerick Grade 2 Novice Hurdle over 2m 7f. This year the race is being run for an increased value of €75,000, up from €50,000 last year.
Limerick Racecourse general manager Patrick O'Callaghan said: “It is one of the most highly valued Grade 2s out there and we have aspirations of getting it upgraded to Grade 1 status. In effect, it is a Grade 2 race being run for Grade 1 money."
The opening race on the card today, December 27, is due off at 12.15pm. Gates open from 10.30am.
Live music will be provided after racing by Tiny Giants today.
A complimentary bus service is available on all four days departing Henry St in the city each morning and returning to Henry St each evening. The buses are run on a first come first served basis.
U12s can attend the festival for free on all four days when accompanied by an adult.
General admission is priced at €20 for December 27, with €15 concessions for seniors and students.
Tickets for the event, including hospitality packages, can be booked on www.limerickraces.ie or by calling 061-320000 or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
See the Limerick Leader for comprehensive coverage of the Limerick Christmas races, both on-line at www.limerickleader.ie and in our print editions