And they’re off! Races return with first two-day meeting of season

The weather is good, the ground is good and the forecast is good. Apart from a few winners, there’s not much more punters will be asking for ahead of Roscommon’s second race meeting of the year next Monday and Tuesday, June 13th and 14th. The first race on both evenings is at 6 pm in what is the course’s first two-day meeting of the year.

  The season got off to a flyer four weeks ago. The glorious conditions contributed to a great evening of racing that saw a very large attendance. Pat Smullen rode a double in the first and third races, and with a number of smaller-priced winners, it was a decent evening for backers.

  Monday’s racing includes a feature race that often tends to be hugely significant in a few weeks’ time. The Connacht National aims to attract potential Galway Plate runners and with a prize fund of €30,000 on offer, there’s sure to be a very strong field. Other sponsors on the day are Dermot Hughes Car Sales, OCR Waste Management and EBF. The Best Turned Out Prize is being sponsored by Dalton’s Bar & Lounge, Fuerty.

  Tote Ireland, who are sponsoring the Connacht National, will have free admission for Tote account customers and will also be distributing free quick-picks on the Tote Pick 6 and the Tote Jackpot on the evening.

  Last year’s Connacht National was won by 16/1 outside Aranhill Chief. The second-placed Abolitionist went on to win once and finish second twice in four runs since. Fifth in last year’s National was Mouse Morris’ Rogue Angel. That horse has since won a hurdle race in Galway, the Kerry National and of course the Irish Grand National in Fairyhouse in March. “The Connacht National is a long-term favourite of seasoned punters and it has thrown up some fine horses down through the years. There’s every reason to expect this year’s line-up may produce something eye-catching. Hopefully, it will be under a blue sky that the two days of racing will take place. We were blessed for the first fixture; we’d welcome the same again,” said Michael Finneran, Roscommon Racecourse manager.

  On Tuesday, June 14th racing starts at 6 pm with a full national hunt card of six hurdle races and a bumper including a €20,000 hurdle race, down for decision. Sponsors on Tuesday are Ivan Connaughton Auctioneer, The Abbey Hotel Roscommon and 188BET. The Best Turned Out Prize in each race is sponsored by YK Signs, Athleague.   As always there will be music in the main bar after the second last race. On Monday, music is provided by Henry and The Usual Suspects while on Tuesday, Billy Garvin will entertain the crowd.

  Admission for adults is €13 with OAPs and students €8. Patrons can avail of the Ros Special for €30, which includes admission, race card, two-course meal and a €10 betting voucher. Discounts available on group bookings. All enquiries: 087-2203288. Email: roscommonracecourse@eircom.net. Check out the Facebook page for updates.