Kilbeggan kicked off a new year of racing in difficult conditions and with a poor weather forecast. The intrepid patrons still managed to turn up in good numbers for the first meeting. Hopefully, some better weather will help to make the next meeting on Friday 15th May at 5.40 Pm a memorable occasion.
EASTER RISING STOPS MAY MEETING
When Kilbeggan had only one race meeting, it was always held in May, and this was the traditional occasion for families and friends from the whole surrounding area to get together. In 1916, because of the troubles after the Easter Rising and the imposition of martial law, the May races were postponed until September, which was a big disappointment for the committee. Next Friday will be an opportunity to bring back the old tradition of meeting at Kilbeggan races. The feature race is the Belvedere House, Garden, and Park Handicap Chase of €17,500 is sponsored by the Westmeath County Council. An exciting new development is sponsorship by At The Races of a novice hurdle at this meeting. At The Races show all the race meetings held in Ireland throughout the year, which is a great boost for Irish Racing and an opportunity to showcase the best elements of Irish Racing and places like Kilbeggan. The average monthly in-home audiences are almost 2.5 million in the UK and Ireland and it is the biggest racing site in reaching out to racing supporters from Twitter to Facebook. It should be a great meeting with some good quality horses competing.
REDEVELOPMENT A SUCCESS
The first race meeting was a success and for the first time racing took place over the new bend on the far side. The jockeys and trainers expressed the view that the re-development created a much better and safer surface for the horses and jockey’s to race over. The meeting had a few local successes with Athlone publican Philip Byrne winning with Illtakeitfromhere in the maiden hurdle and Gigginstown House won the handicap chase with a change of luck for Mouse Morris when Ravished won by 12 lengths. He looks a good horse to follow as he gave weight away to Mallards in Flight, who a week later galloped away to win a handicap chase at Punchestown by 5 lengths at 8/1. She may be aimed for the Midlands National in July.
There is plenty to look forward to at Kilbeggan this year and next Friday at 5.40PM is a good opportunity to start getting out there to enjoy a great social occasion