President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins will attend Midland’s National at Kilbeggan Races on Friday 20th July

Kilbeggan Races

Kilbeggan Races Paddy Dunican and President HigginsKilbeggan Races has a long history dating back to 1840. Since then, many leaders of Government, international Ambassadors, and even Prince Aly Khan have attended the races to enjoy the wonder of National Hunt racing over the jumps. The Midland National meeting next Friday 20th July at 5.55pm is unique, as Kilbeggan will be honoured by the attendance of our President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins, who has achieved so much in Ireland and all around the world during his current term. Paddy Dunican, Manager, of Kilbeggan Racecourse stated “we are delighted that President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins will attend Kilbeggan Races on Friday 20th July. Our Midlands National Race Meeting is the feature event of the year and it’s a great honour for us to have President Higgins present the Midlands National Trophy to the winning owner”. It will be a great opportunity for people to see the President on the biggest occasion of the year for Kilbeggan with the Midland’s National and the annual Best Dressed Ladies Competition.


The first ever Midlands National was won by a horse called Cristy’s Picnic trained by Mouse Morris and it had a touch of Hollywood & the movies as two of the owners in the syndicate were Neil Jordan, Director and actor Stephen Rea. The race worth €50,000 has become one of the main steeplechases during the summer racing season. With €124,000 in prize money at the meeting and a number of sponsored races including the Coola Hurdle sponsored by Tom Lynam, who is Treasurer on the committee and keeps the track in top condition. The famous Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey Group is sponsoring a handicap hurdle worth €16,000 and the European Breeder’s Fund is sponsoring the Beginner’s Novice Chase. The Tom McCormack Mares Hurdle honouring the former Secretary of the Committee is part of the Weatherby’s Ireland Fillies Bonus Scheme.  The question is who will win the Midland’s National? Last year it was won by Tony Martin’s Phil’ s Magic but it might be worthwhile to watch out for course specialists (if they run)  like Supreme Vinnie a recent winner ridden by Rachel Blackmore, Michael O’Leary’s Net D’Ecosse, Henry De Bromhead’s Conrad Hasting’s or Draycott Place. Our two leading trainers Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott have had great success in Kilbeggan in recent years.


Horse racing should be about style, elegance, humour, joy, and celebration. This also applies to the Best Dressed Ladies Competition sponsored by Bellamianta Luxury Tanning and Wineport Lodge, which grows in size each year. Two of the best judges in Ireland Valerie Roe PR and Bairbre Power, Fashion Editor, will be judging the event this year. Valerie Roe PR has had a busy working career as Miss Ireland, modelling, singing, and managing the famed Lillie Bordello’s and meeting celebrities from The Rolling Stones to Leonardo de Caprio. She run’s Dublin’s only 24 hour agency, with a well-tuned understanding of media and marketing. Bairbre Power is Fashion Editor of the Irish Independent and Weekend Magazine and on Twitter is one of Ireland’s main style influences. She is also Editor of Lineout and Mistletoe digital magazine. The prizes include a year’s supply of Bellamianta Luxury Tan for the winner worth €500; a voucher worth €500 from 3D Ireland; a set of beauty work hair extensions, applied by top stylist Sarah Ethel worth €1,000; a prize of a private collection dress and bespoke hat by Irish Milliner Deb Fanning, worth €500. The Wineport Lodge in Glasson, Athlone, have been regular sponsors of the Best Dressed Ladies competition at Kilbeggan over the last few years. Their wonderful prize includes a VIP weekend in Wineport, comprising 2 nights in the newly refurbished champagne suite (including a bottle of champagne, flowers, chocolates, and a luxury bath basket). Breakfast and dinner (2 days) and VOYA body treatment each, plus a luxury VOYA product hamper. The Wineport Lodge and Bellamianta Luxury Tanning will also supply goodie bags to the 10 shortlisted ladies.


Kilbeggan races is all about the joy of listening to groups, meeting families and coming together, friends finding each other again, children’s laughter as they play, punter’s winning, dancer’s dancing to live music. It’s a fantastic evening for everyone with free bouncing castles & an obstacle course for kids.

The seven-race card provides admission for adults €15, Students & OAP €12, special discounts for staff customers, and friends for a group of 10 or more, with admission discounted to €12 per person. A Special Discounted Summer Party Pack includes Admission ticket + €5 Drink Voucher + €5 Food Voucher and Race Card for just €22 per person for a group of €10 or more.

Go and experience it next Friday and it will be a fond memory for this year. Remember the first race is at 5.55pm. It’s best to arrive early and you will enjoy it better.






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