Champion jockey Ruby Walsh has said that the growth in popularity of the Shannon Airport Christmas Racing Festival at Limerick Racecourse is a tribute to the enormous strides being made by the team at Greenmount Park.
The nine times Irish champion jockey jumped on board to give his support to Shannon Airport’s sponsorship of the Christmas festival, which takes place from December 26th to 29th, describing the partnership as a real coup for Limerick Racecourse.
Up to 40,000 will attend the four day meet, which boasts 28 races, €300,000 prize money and is set to be the biggest ever festival staged at Greenmount Park.
Walsh said that the festival has a great track record of throwing up some outstanding performances and indicators for the mecca of national hunt racing, Cheltenham.
“The Christmas racing calendar is quite busy. Everyone else is on holidays so racing is providing the entertainment and Limerick are lucky enough to host a couple of really good races. Last year Faugheen won a novice hurdle there before going on to win at the Cheltenham Festival and is currently favourite for the Cheltenham Hurdle. In previous years the Greenmount Novice Chase has produced some wonderful winners, including Sir Des Champs, and will be another hotly contested contest this year,” he said.
Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey said that the decision to come on board as a sponsor was made easy by the festival’s great reputation.
“We are delighted to be associated so prominently with the festival this year. It’s a festival that everyone with an interest in racing in Munster and beyond looks forward to over the Christmas and it is right to profile the West’s international gateway for this event, not least as so many people coming back in for Christmas will also be going to the races. It attracts huge crowds and hugely exciting racing. Getting this type of recommendation from Ruby Walsh says it all about the quality of the event that they have built over the years.”