THE TIMING is poignant for a charity race for the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund this Saturday at Limerick Racecourse, so soon after the serious fall suffered by Robbie McNamara.
The Croom jockey suffered eight broken ribs and a punctured lung, as well as a fractured vertebrae and spinal injuries after his mount fell in a race at Wexford. Robbie’s cousin, JT McNamara is supported by the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund after his horror fall in Cheltenham.
Racing personalities set to ride in the novelty race include Sheikh Fahad Al Thani of Qatar Racing, former champion jockeys Johnny Murtagh and Kevin Darley; trainer supreme Arthur Moore and At The Races TV presenter Kevin O’Ryan. MC on the day will be the colourful At The Races presenter Matt Chapman.
Local personalities who will be riding include Dunraven Arms Hotel owners, Bryan and Hugh Murphy; Brian Hayes of The Blue Door, Adare; sister and brother, Mary and Terence Leonard and Peter Molony of Rathmore Stud.
Peter will be a busy man as the charity raceday will also honour his father Martin and uncle Tim – the Limerick brothers dominated the Irish and UK racing scene in the 1940s-50s.
One of the highlights of the day will be the unveiling of the statue of the Molony brothers by Dublin-sculptor Paul Ferriter, who won the competition to create the monument. Boherbuoy brass and reed band will play to the crowds as the statue is unveiled after the Martin Molony Stakes, scheduled for 4.30pm. The Molony family held a hugely successful auction and raffle at a gala ball in the Dunraven Arms Hotel last September 2014 for the statue and charity.
“There is tremendous support out there for this project to commemorate my father and uncle Tim and we are very proud that it will be erected over-looking the parade ring at Limerick Racecourse not far from where the champion jockeys were raised,” said Peter.
The first race of an eight race card will go to post at 2.10pm, admission is €15, however, all children under 14 go free when accompanied by an adult. The charity race will be the final race on the card. An excellent afternoon of fun for all the family is guaranteed.
Saturday coincides with AP McCoy’s last day in the saddle at Sandown Park. But you won’t miss a minute of it in Patrickswell as all the races will be shown live.
Conor O’Neill, general manager of Limerick Racecourse, said they are delighted to host what “promises to be a unique and very special race day”.
“I really hope it will raise public awareness and vital funds for Irish Injured Jockeys. They play a crucial role in racing, a sport which poses such high risks on a daily basis. The work that they do is fantastic and I look forward to welcoming you all on the day to show your support,” said Conor.
Tickets available at www.limerickraces.ie
Editorial, page 20