The Midland’s National race meeting is the racing and social event of the year in the region. On Friday July 8th the first of a seven race card will go to post at 5.20pm, and there’s plenty to get excited about!
The AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National, the highlight of Kilbeggan’s racing year, has been upgraded to a Grade B race, with the prize fund increasing from €75,000 to €100,000.
It will be the first time for Kilbeggan to stage a graded race, and manager Paddy Dunican said: “We are delighted that the AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National race has been upgraded to a Grade B race. With the support of our sponsor and Horse Racing Ireland, the prize money has increased to €100,000. We are excited to see some top-quality runners due to the improved status and increased prize money on offer. The aim has always been to have a graded race at Kilbeggan, so it’s great to see our vision come to fruition.”
Jason Morris, Horse Racing Ireland’s director of racing added: “The AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National race has become a real feature of the summer National Hunt programme, and Horse Racing Ireland is delighted that the quality of runners in recent years has justified the race’s promotion to a Grade B race, giving Kilbeggan a welldeserved first blacktype race.”
AXA’s head of agriculture, Christy Doherty, said: “We are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Midlands National for the fourth year. The race is a very important event for our business, as it provides us with the opportunity to engage with our customers at our local racecourse and at the biggest race meeting of their season.”
In addition, Writech Group is sponsoring a new feature handicap hurdle of €25,000 to further support the meeting and attract better quality horses. Writech, based in Mullingar, is the industry leader worldwide in developing cutting-edge technology to design and manufacture fire protection systems for many of the biggest technology companies in the world. Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey sponsor a hurdle race and there is a strong historic association, with the Locke family being involved locally in Kilbeggan Races back to 1840. The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase at the meeting often produces useful chasers for the future.
Alan Wright told this column: “The Writech Group is delighted to support Kilbeggan Racecourse on Midlands National Day. We are also looking forward to welcoming our clients to the event, which will be a very enjoyable occasion, not to mention demonstrating the uniqueness of the midlands. We would like to thank Paddy Dunican and his team for the professionalism they have shown in assisting us with our corporate day.”
Kilbeggan is leading the way with Ireland’s first sustainable style event at the races. The Bellamianta Sustainable Style Ladies Competition offers a prize worth €5,000, including €1,000 cash sponsored by Bellamianta Luxury Tanning and AXA. The organisers, and celebrity judge Mark Rogers, are encouraging all the ladies to embrace sustainable fashion and show them upcycled outfits and ethical brands. Whether it is thrifted, borrowed or handmade, they want to see it at the races, with headwear an optional extra.
Admission is €15, with special discounts for groups of 10 or more. Ideal for staff, customers or groups of friends is Kilbeggan’s Summer Party Pack. For €23 per person this includes admission, two €5 food and drink vouchers and a racecard. Book your tickets online to avail of discounts at www.kilbegganraces.com