Up to 41,000 racegoers flock to Limerick Christmas Racing Festival

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Email:

ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

More than 41,000  racegoers flock to Limerick Christmas Racing Festival

Cut The Mustard with Mikey Fogarty on board jumping the last to win the Limerick Vets Beginners Chase at Limerick Racecourse on Sunday

Up to 41,000 racegoers have flocked to the four-day Mr Binman Limerick Christmas Racing Festival at Greenmount Park.

An attendance of 6,295 was recorded on the final day of the National Hunt racing bonanza, Family Fun Day, at Patrickswell. The figure was an increase of 200 on the final day of the 2018 Festival.

Day four of the Mr Binman Limerick Christmas Racing Festival saw a popular local success as Rathkeale trainer Eric McNamara saddled Northern Love to spring a 20/1 surprise in the concluding Irish Field Handicap Hurdle.

The four-tear-old winner, ridden by Ryan Treacy, ran out a half a length winner of the 2m 3f contest in the colours of Kevin McNamee, who also bred Northern Love. 

The win capped an excellent afternoon for the McNamara family as trainer Eric's son Conor won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown for trainer Gavin Cromwell. The winner proved half a length too good for Millen To One at odds of 12/1.

The feature race on the final day of the Limerick Festival was won by Soviet Pimpernel, who ran out an impressive winner of the Grade Three Irish Independent Hurdle in the hands of Kevin Sexton.

The Peter Fahey trained youngster is now a 50/1 shot with Paddy Power for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham next March.

Betting turnover with the on-course bookmakers reached €128,250 on the final day of the Fixture, an increase on the €105,641 total recorded on the same day last year.

The Tote recorded a turnover of €136,374 on Sunday, an increase on the €105,757 total recorded on December 20, 2019.

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 multi-million euro bonanza for the local economy, through racecourse direct sales, service contractors, bookmakers, hotels, restaurants, transport providers and employment provided.