It's Family Fun Day at Limerick Christmas Racing Festival

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

It's Family Fun Day at Limerick Christmas Racing Festival

Fully Charged, with Hugh Morgan on board, on their way to winning the Connolly's Red Mills EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle at Limerick Racecourse on Saturday

THE curtain comes down on the mammoth Mr Binman Limerick Christmas Racing Festival today, Sunday, December 29, with the staging of Family Fun Day at Greenmount Park.

Up to 35,000 racegoers have flocked to Limerick Racecourse over the opening three days of the 2019 Christmas Festival.

The opening race at Limerick Racecourse on today, Sunday, December 29 is off at 12pm, with the last of seven top class National Hunt races going to post at 3.30pm. Gates open from 10.30am.

The Mr Binman Limerick Christmas Racing Festival 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 four-day horse racing bonanza boasts a total of €575,000 in prize money, a 5% increase on 2018 levels.

The event 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.

The big race on today, December 29, will be Grade 3 Irish Independent Hurdle, with the contest being televised live on RTE. The race has a value of €34,000 and was won last year of Espoir D'Allen who went on to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham last March.

Limerick Racecourse general manager Patrick O'Callaghan said: "Come December 29, some parents with small kids might be getting cabin fever.

“We are doing a special on-line offer for the last day of two adults for €20, with kids U12 free, so it is not an expensive day out.

“We have a live DJ will be in the Munster Suite after racing on December 29."

“Having the feature race live on RTE each day is a good endorsement of what we are doing here."