THE feature races at this year’s Limerick Christmas Racing Festival will be broadcast live on RTE.
The hugely popular event takes place from December 26-29 at Limerick Racecourse and this year, for the first time, the big race on each day will be shown live on national TV.
While the races at Leopardstown will get most of the coverage on RTE, Limerick will also feature.
The races to be shown live are:
Friday, December 26
The Grade 2 Shannon Airport Novice Steeplechase of €39,000 – Live on RTE at 2.05pm
Saturday, December 27
The Grade B Tim Duggan Insurance Memorial Steeplechase of €50,000 – Live on RTE at 1.35pm
Sunday, December 28
The Listed Irish Independent 4 Year Old Hurdle of €26,000 – Live on RTE at 2.05pm
Monday, December 29 The Grade 3 Cliona’s Foundation Novice Hurdle of €30,000 – Live on RTE at 2.50pm
In January, RTE announced a new four-year broadcasting deal for live coverage of Irish horse racing, allowing Irish racing fans to continue to enjoy the most prestigious days in the Irish racing calendar, free-to-air on RTÉ Television, and online on RTÉ.ie and RTÉ Player.
As part of the deal, RTÉ broadcast a minimum of 24 days of live Irish racing television coverage each year, featuring the great racing days of all the major festivals which now includes the Shannon Airport Christmas Racing Festival at Limerick.
Earlier this month, Limerick Racecourse announced Shannon Airport as the title sponsors of the Christmas Racing Festival, with nine-time Irish Champion Jockey Ruby Walsh, giving the new sponsorship and RTE broadcasting decision his full support.
“I think Limerick Racecourse is getting no more than it deserves this year with RTE taking live races to go on terrestrial television,” said Walsh. “The work they are doing is amazing. If more racecourses could be as proactive as Limerick, racing would be in a far healthier place. Limerick is lucky enough to host a couple of really good races. L
Conor O’Neill, General Manager of Limerick Racecourse, said: “It’s without doubt, a massive boost for Limerick Racecourse that the Shannon Airport Christmas Racing Festival will be televised live this year on each of the four days to homes throughout the country by RTE. It really emphasises the quality of racing that is staged at Limerick Racecourse and the importance that the four day Festival has on a national scale.”