And they’re off! 2007 Racing season begins

The 2007 season kicks off at Roscommon racecourse on Monday, 21 st May with a seven-race mixed card in what is the first of nine meetings that will take place at Roscommon up until the final meeting of the season on the 1 st October.     Ireland’s leading trainers have consistently supported Roscommon and the Ballybride Maiden and the Come Racing In Roscommon Fillies Maiden that will open the card at 6 pm and 6.30 pm respectively are sure to attract some promising colts and fillies with John Oxx and Dermot Weld likely to be represented.    The Connolly’s Red Mills Horse Care Cubes Handicap over 10f is sure to provide a competitive and exciting contest while the jumps action is kicked off by the Frank Hannon Memorial Handicap Steeplechase over 2m 5f at 7.30pm. The Sherry Fitzgerald P. Burke Auctioneers Handicap Steeplechase and the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle, both over the minimum trip of two miles, will cater to those racing fans that like nothing more than watching thoroughbred racehorses jumping obstacles at high speeds. The concluding Kepak Flat Race over 2m 4f at 9 pm promises to make a special contribution to the evening as, as well as providing an exciting closing race, over 1000 members of Kepak staff, their families and customers are expected to descend on Roscommon to mark their company’s sponsorship.  With five out of the seven races on the card having sponsors, Racecourse Manager Micheal Finneran is keen to point out just how important sponsorship is to the successful running on the track: ‘Roscommon’s sponsors add so much to the success of our meetings and their continuing involvement with the racecourse shows that both parties derive great benefit from the relationship’.  Recent seasons have seen Roscommon flourish and achieve a number of notable goals. The course won the 2004 Stable Staff Award for the most improved racecourse in Ireland and last year, it was allocated its first ever Listed race on the Flat. Attendances at Roscommon have been remarkably consistent in recent years with the total amount of racegoers during the season numbering over 30,000 in each of the last four seasons with 31,585 coming through the turnstiles last season.   Last year the total amount of money bet with the on-course bookmakers at Roscommon was €5,442,609, an increase of €320,682 on the previous year. In fact, with an average amount of €604,734 bet with the bookmakers at each meeting, Roscommon was ranked 8 th highest amongst all of the Irish racecourses in that regard.  With the quality of racing and attendance levels at an all-time high, Roscommon’s May 21 st meeting promises to open another successful season at the most improved racecourse in Ireland.