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The stage is set

This week in the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) column we catch up with Gerard Coughlan, chairman of Killarney Races, to get the inside track on their upcoming meeting, Julyfest.

From Monday 11th to Friday July 15th, JulyFest offers great summer racing, socialising, entertainment and so much more at Ireland’s most scenic racecourse. With lots of ticket price levels and food and beverage options to choose from, whether it is general admission tickets, a punters pack or the barbecue package, there is something for everyone at Killarney Races.

Those with a more discerning palate might opt for the Panoramic restaurant package, including four-course dining, a reserved table for the day, table service for food, beverages and betting, as well as a private balcony with stunning views overlooking the entire racecourse. Availability is limited and you are advised to make early enquiries.

Gerard Coughlan told this column: “Killarney Races is a boutique festival. It encompasses a wonderful mix of summer racing, blended with live entertainment on the lawn and indoors, a wide variety of delicious food and beverage offerings, family fun and fashion. The stunning backdrop we race against is without question one of the finest in the world, and we’re just a stone’s throw away from the town centre where there will be lots of aprés-racing fun and frolics also.

“The team here simply can’t wait to see crowds back this July, as it really is the people who attend that make this place come alive. A special thank you to our wonderful sponsors who have made all of this possible. Killarney Races are unique. Things are a little more special here than your typical day out, so if you’re new to racing come along. All visitors to the area, and regular racegoers, are so welcome to join us for a great day.”


With seven races each day to look forward to, here’s a summary of the highlights on the menu. The Monday Club is an evening fixture featuring The Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Race worth €25,000. Family Fun Tuesday evening highlights include The Irish Examiner Handicap of €16,500 and the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap of €23,500.

Races & Roses Wednesday evening offers a competitive listed race, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Cairn Rouge Stakes of €47,500. It is also when all 33 ladies
will meet their assigned escorts for the first time ahead of the Rose of Tralee Festival, and is sure to be a fun evening.

Jumping July Thursday features the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Hurdle of €18,500, while Fashionable Friday is Dawn Milk Ladies Day. The features on the card are the Dawn Milk Run Handicap Hurdle worth €22,000 and the Grade B BoyleSports Handicap Chase worth €45,000. Gates open at 12 noon.

Paris and Milan

The best dressed lady and gentleman on Friday will win a trip for two to Paris and Milan. This year the celebrity judges are TV presenter Anna Daly and Kerry’s own Aidan O’Mahony. They are tasked with choosing the winners and we don’t envy them!

Music on the lawn before and during racing each day will be followed by after racing fun in the Jim Culloty Bar, with Tom Cats, SuperCéilí, Jason Fallon, Donal Lucey and Ciaran Wrynn providing the entertainment.

Racegoers are advised to come racing early, nab the best seating areas and enjoy something to eat or drink before racing. Gates open two hours before the first race each day.

To book ticket and hospitality packages visit

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