Limerick Racecourse is the place to be from December 26-29, with Bob Olinger, Appreciate It, Beacon Edge, Riviere D’etel and Concertista headlining a carnival of quality and festive joy as the Mr Binman Christmas Racing Festival is taking place in front of an enthusiastic audience once again.
Significant investments have been made to provide additional outdoor amenities including marquees, catering units, bars and live music facilities to ensure guests have a safe and enjoyable experience upon their return to Limerick after the Mr Binman Christmas Racing Festival was held behind closed doors last year. .
Five ranked races will be contested throughout the four-day festival comprising 28 races, all sponsored, and the action kicks off on St. Stephen’s Day in the form of the feature film BoyleSports Faugheen Novice Chase.
Cheltenham heroes Bob Olinger and Appreciate It are part of a solid list of entries for the race, a list that also includes winner Beacon Edge from Drinmore Chase coached by Noel Meade and exciting mares Riviere D’etel and Concertista.
Bob Olinger was a two-time Category 1 winner as a novice hurdler and pulverized a strong field in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last March. It was over two and a half miles, the same trip he successfully started his hunting career at Gowran Park last month. With Limerick’s feature also at the middle distance, hopes are high that Henry de Bromhead’s exceptional son Sholokhov will face the Bands.
Appreciate It has won Category 1 over the smallest obstacles three times, the culmination of these being his effortless triumph in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old boy is yet to appear this quarter, however.
In stark contrast, Beacon Edge took the first Category 1 prize of the season for novice hunters finishing with a wet sail to deprive Gabynako of Gavin Cromwell in the Drinmore and the courageous finalist may well renew the rivalries in Limerick.
RiviÃ¨re D’etel has answered all questions put to her so far by Gordon Elliott, winning two graduate awards bringing her record to three of three without blemish since the start of her hunting career. This would represent another breakthrough in class but as a four year old mare Martaline’s daughter would have the advantage of having considerable weight allowances if she took her place.
Concertista won the Cheltenham Festival in 2020, when she landed from the clouds to win the Novice Hurdle of Grade 2 Mares, but she suffered a late burst when she was caught on the row in the hurdle for grade 1 mares at Prestbury Park twelve months later. Willie Mullins placed her at Level 2 immediately on her Cork hunting debut earlier this month and she passed the test with flying colors.
Even before reaching Grade 1 status, the race formerly known as the Greenmount Novice Chase had drawn the cream of the crop, with future Imperial Call Gold Cup winner Hi Cloy, One Cool Cookie, Sir Des Champs, Bellshill, Outlander and Gilgamboa among the elite honor rolls.
Hardline was the first winner of what is Munster’s first Grade 1 and he was replaced by Faugheen, a former Grade 2 Lyons winner from Limerick Jaguar Land Rover Dorans Pride Novice Hurdle at the festival, who had everyone on his feet passing Samcro on an unforgettable occasion bristling with electricity.
It was subsequently decided to rename the race in honor of the 11-time Category 1 winner, given his enduring relationship with Limerick and the impact of this particular performance on the racing audience.
Colreevy maintained the standard by beating the geldings last year and winning the first Mares’ Chase at Cheltenham. She went on to claim the much-vaunted Monkfish and Envoi Allen scalps in the Group 1 3m 1f rookie pursuit at Punchestown before being pulled by breeders Dungarvan Niall and Claire Flynn to begin her second career as a producer, hopefully, future champions.
BoyleSports partnered with Limerick to sponsor one race each day of the Mr Binman Christmas Racing Festival, the Boylesports Bumper on December 27, the Grade 2 Boylesports Dawn Run Mares’ Novice Chase on December 28 and the Grade 2 BoyleSports Sporting Limerick Hurdle on the 29 December, also benefiting from the support of the bookmaking company.
The off-the-rails revelry is sure to match the action unfolding between them, with a variety of hospitality packages on offer and plenty of food and drink options as well as live music ensuring a cheerful atmosphere. crackling. Customers are advised to book their tickets online at www.limekraces.ie to ensure ease of access.
âWe are delighted to be able to welcome our clients again this year after operating behind closed doors in 2020,â said Paddy Dunican, Acting Director.
âThe Mr Binman Christmas Racing Festival in Limerick is the social event of the year in the Midwest. We will have four days of very exciting and competitive national hunting races.
âA significant investment has been made to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable social experience for visitors who want to meet old friends and perhaps make new ones.
“We encourage customers to book their tickets online and look forward to four splendid days of first-class action on the track and great entertainment outside as well.”
General admission is available from â¬ 15 per person. Free for children under 12.