Limerick Christmas racing festival breaks 40,000 barrier

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Limerick Christmas racing festival breaks 40,000 barrier

More than 40,000 racegoers attended Limerick's Christmas Racing Festival

MORE than 40,000 racegoers attended the four-day Limerick Christmas Racing Festival which concluded on Friday.

The National Hunt racing bonanza at Limerick Racecourse featured 28 sponsored races and more than €470,000 in prizemoney.

The festival concluded with Friday’s Family Fund day which attracted 6,238 through the turnstiles at Greenmount Park.

The attendance on the fourth day of the traditional Christmas racing festival ensured 40,072 thronged the enclosures through the week.

The Tote turnover on the final day of the festival reached €256,116, while the turnover with the on-course bookmakers was recorded at €70,910.

Local racing enthusiasts enjoyed a successful conclusion to the festival when Ballingarry trainer Charles Byrnes sent out the well-fancied Off You Go to score a convincing success in the Shavings.ie Handicap Hurdle at Limerick.

The four-year-old, who went off the 10/11 favourite for Limerick owner JP McManus, stretched clear on the run-in, going on to score impressively by thirteen lengths.

Byrnes, who was saddling his second winner of the week at the Limerick Christmas Festival, said: "He handled the ground great and a good claimer on board all helps.

“It looked a fairly weak race but you still have to go and win. He's done it well and I'm very happy with him.

"He's only a four-year-old so he won't be too busy this season. He looks like he could stay further but there is no need to go any further for the moment."

Some 8,972 patrons passed through the turnstiles at Greenmount Park on Thursday, December 28, the third day of the four-day Festival.

The figure is a slight increase on the 2016 attendance figure of 8,939.

13,808 attended the Festival at Limerick Racecourse on St Stephen’s Day, traditionally the biggest day of the meeting.

The attendance figure on December 27 reached  11,054.