Down Royal Racecourse has
confirmed it is increasing its investment in the upcoming November Festival to
bring the richest National Hunt race to Northern Ireland.
The announcement was confirmed
by CEO Emma Meehan at the recent Ladbrokes Festival of Racing launch event, hosted in the prestigious surroundings of Hillsborough Castle and
attended by horse racing industry stalwarts, sponsors, supporters of Down Royal
The long-established two-day
Festival - staged on 1st and 2nd November - is the
highlight of the racing calendar at Down Royal and has an exceptional role of
honour including great chasers such as Kauto Star, Beef Or Salmon, The
Listener, Looks Like Trouble, Florida Pearl and Don Cossack.
The recent announcement of a
new six figure deal to secure sponsorship of the November Festival, sees
Ladbrokes join the growing stable of sponsors at Down Royal.
With a total prize fund over
the two days of €460,000, Friday 1st November will see the richest
hurdle race in Northern Ireland take place - The WKD Hurdle - while the
Ladbrokes Grade 1 Champion Chase will run on Saturday 2nd.
Emma Meehan, Chief Executive
of Down Royal Racecourse addressed guests at the event saying: “The most
prestigious of our race meetings, the Ladbrokes November Festival is set to be
the biggest yet and we are thrilled to now have the richest prize fund ever for
a National Hunt race in Northern Ireland.
“With attendance at Down Royal
up twelve percent year-on-year we are anticipating a crowd of over 10,000 over
the two days, and with the venue and the track both in tip top condition, it
promises to be a superb day out for all.”
A video, ‘A New Era of Down
Royal’ featuring last year’s Grade 1 Champion Chase winning trainer and jockey,
Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan, and presented by racing commentator Richard Pugh
was premiered at the event. A panel discussion was hosted by broadcaster Des
Scahill and featured jockeys Keith Donoghue and Sean Flanagan.
Racegoers can expect to see
some big name runners on the Racecard for the Down Royal Festival including the
Gordon Elliott trained Samcro in the Beginners Steeplechase and in the Champion
Chase, Elliott’s Delta Work will run alongside the Paul Nicholls trained Clan Des
Shane McLaughlin, Ladbrokes
Managing Director, said: “Ladbrokes has a long and proud association with
top-class horse racing and we are thrilled to be embarking on this exciting new
sponsorship of the November Festival of Racing at Down Royal. We’re looking
forward to an action-packed weekend of top class racing.”
It is no less competitive away
from the race track with the ‘Best Dressed Lady Competition’ also taking place
on Saturday 2nd November. This year, the principal sponsor has been
confirmed as Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort, Northern Ireland’s premier luxury
hotel and spa.
Emma Meehan continued: “We are
delighted to welcome Ladbrokes, WKD and Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort to our
growing family of key sponsors and partners and look forward to working with
them to make the Festival the best yet.”
Gates open at 11am and the
first race is at 12.45pm. General admission is £15 and tickets are available at
the turnstiles on arrival. Children under 16 go free and free car parking is
For full details on the
Ladbrokes Festival of Racing or to book tickets please visit www.downroyal.com