RTE’s decision to broadcast the feature race live on each of the four days of the Shannon Airport Christmas Racing Festival at Limerick Racecourse for the first time ever this Christmas is a further significant boost to the already growing profile of the meeting.
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.
Earlier this month, Limerick Racecourse announced Shannon Airport as the title sponsors of the Christmas Racing Festival, with nine-time Irish Champion Jockey Ruby Walsh, giving the new sponsorship and RTE broadcasting decision his full support.
Said Walsh, “I think Limerick Racecourse is getting no more than it deserves this year with RTE taking live races to go on terrestrial television. The work they are doing is amazing. If more racecourses could be as proactive as Limerick, racing would be in a far healthier place.
“Limerick is lucky enough to host a couple of really good races. Last year Faugheen won the (Grade 3 Cliona’s Foundation) Novice Hurdle there before going on to win at the Cheltenham festival and he is currently the favourite for the Champion Hurdle. In previous years, the Greenmount Novice Chase (The Grade 2 Shannon Airport Novice Steeplechase) has produced some wonderful winners including Sir Des Champs and I’ve no doubt it will be another hotly contested race this year.”
The feature races which will be televised live on RTE are as follows:
Friday 26th December – Grade 2 Shannon Airport Novice Steeplechase of €39,000 – 2.05pm
Saturday 27th December – Grade B Tim Duggan Insurance Memorial Steeplechase of €50,000 – 1.35pm
Sunday 28th December – Listed Irish Independent 4 Year Old Hurdle of €26,000 – 2.05pm
Monday 29th December – Grade 3 Cliona’s Foundation Novice Hurdle of €30,000 – 2.50pm