This week’s Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) column is based on Downpatrick Racecourse and their Randox Ulster National which takes place on Sunday, March 20th.
Downpatrick Racecourse is the oldest racecourse in Ireland, with racing first taking place in 1685 at the old racecourse, 337 years ago!
They have been racing at the current track for over 150 years now and this is located just a few miles from the old racecourse. Downpatrick is one of only three racecourses in the country that exclusively hosts National Hunt racing, the others being Killbeggan and Wexford.
Preparations are well under way for Downpatrick Racecourse’s flagship race day under the leadership of manager Richard Lyttle , and they were thrilled with the recent announcement of global brand Randox as the sponsor of the Ulster National for the next five years.
Randox is a global healthcare company based in Co Antrim and was founded in 1982 by medical scientist and keen horseman Dr. Peter FitzGerald. This sponsorship is great news for Downpatrick Racecourse and the Randox partnership will help in ensuring that Downpatrick continue to attract high calibre horses for the Randox Ulster National, especially since it is recognised as a trial for the Irish Grand National.
There are a variety of packages to suit all requirements at Downpatrick Racecourse for the Randox Ulster National race day, and tickets are on sale now. Early bird general admission tickets are available until this coming Monday, February 28th, for just £16 each, and include admission to the racecourse enclosure, a complimentary racecard and priority fast track entry at turnstiles on the day.
While the Dunleath Suite hospitality package is sold out, there is still availability for the Punters Package at the time of writing. This package is £33 each and includes racecourse admission, a free race card, a £7.50 food voucher, a drinks voucher for pint of beer or equivalent and a £5 matched bet voucher. Please note, the Punters Package must be bought online in advance and will not be available to purchase on the day.
“We are excited to welcome crowds back to Downpatrick Racecourse for our opening meeting of 2022. It is a privilege for us at Downpatrick to have Randox sponsor our Ulster National Race. Randox are global market leaders within the diagnostics industry and they are committed to revolutionising healthcare to give us the chance to extend our lives. They also sponsor the Aintree Grand National.
“Early indications are good, with our hospitality packages completely sold out. Preparation is well underway, and we are looking forward to experiencing the roar of the crowd on March 20th”, a Spokesperson for the racecourse told the cloumn.
it is worth stressing that in addition to race day tickets from £16 now being available to purchase online now at DownpatrickRacecourse.co.uk, these tickets only will be entered into a draw for the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Randox Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 9th.
For more information on hospitality options or any queries, call the team on +44 (0)28 4461 2054.
There will be seven races on the day with the Randox Ulster National being the feature race on the card. No doubt it will be an exciting day of racing, music and fashion. Who knows, yet another Aintree Grand National winner could feature, and follow in the hoof prints of Caughoo and Rhyme N’Reason.
The Association of Irish Racecourses and its members would like to wish the management and staff at Downpatrick Racecourse the very best of luck with their preparations in the build-up to the Randox Ulster National on Sunday, 20th of March.
By Leo Powell