Kilbeggan gears up for June Bank Holiday race meeting

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

Email:

justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Kilbeggan gears up for June Bank Holiday race meeting

Kilbeggan hosts just one Sunday meeting in 2017 and top trainers like Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott will steer horses towards the meeting on June 4. 

Kilbeggan races will be hoping for weather similar to this week when they host their Summer Sunday Festival next weekend.

This is the only Sunday race meeting at Kilbeggan this year, and is expected to draw a huge crowd to the Westmeath track. The racetrack manager Paddy Dunican summed up the occasion for us recently: “The Summer Sunday Festival provides excitement, colour, and thrilling racing in a brilliant atmosphere because Kilbeggan Races is a unique social occasion in racing."

"We believe that it provides the heart-stopping spectacle of horse racing over jumps, with the laid back charm of a rural meeting. We like to think that it’s a great opportunity to meet family, friends - from the fun-loving teenager to the fun-loving 80-year-old - with plenty of chat, laughter, and a bit of music. What more can you ask for on a warm Sunday afternoon in the summer?" he added.

The meeting takes place on Sunday, June 4 and admission to the races is €15 for an adult, while children go free and OAPs and Students enjoy a reduced rate of €12. Tickets are available online at www.kilbegganraces.com and you can book online to avail of a group discount.

The quality of the racing continues to get better at Kilbeggan with three sponsored competitive races taking place on the june 4 card, including the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap Hurdle of €15,000, which is generously sponsored by the European Breeders Fund; the Martinstown Maiden Hurdle of €13,500 sponsored by J.P.McManus, who won with the appropriately named Riviera Sun at the last meeting; and the Mares Hurdle of €13,000, sponsored by the Bloomfield House Hotel, Mullingar.

At the last meeting at the track in May, top trainers like Willie Mullins, Noel Meade, and Henry De Bromhead won four of the seven races, and so plenty of competitive racing is expected again next Sunday.

It has been said that when Willie Mullin’s sends horses to Kilbeggan, they should be followed, as they often go on to win good races. In that case, two horses that were successful at the April meeting should be in your notebook. Nessun Dorma is probably one of the most famous pieces of classic music in the world having been sung by everyone from Pavarotti to Bocelli and it was music to the ears of punters, when it won at 2/1 ridden by Paul Townsend.

The trainer and jockey completed a double when Robin Des Foret (4/7), who had his third success in a row, beat a previous Kilbeggan winner Hidden Charmer. The bumper was won by Alan Fleming’s Champagne Lady and it was a good race as the third horse Major Destination has won a bumper since for Noel Meade.

After racing, successful band The Afters, who have played with many great singers and bands over the years, provide the entertainment. They are a covers band and have been playing festivals and parties for over 10 years.

Their programme covers all kinds of great music over five decades. Recently, they played at Today FM’s Christmas Party, The Olympia, Leopardstown Racecourse, and they have been praised by many from Bressie to Rosanna Davidson for their brilliant music and entertainment.

The Summer Sunday Festival takes place on June 4 with the first race going to post at 2.20pm. For more information, visit www.kilbegganraces.com

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