Why You Should Visit Laytown

Laytown Racecourse

The iconic Laytown Races will take place on Thursday the sixth of September and it is a unique event that every horse racing supporter should experience at least once in their lives. It is the only horse racing event that is run on a beach under the rules of racing. The Laytown Strand races have been going for the last one hundred and forty plus years, the first meeting being held way back in 1868. Back in the day, the races here were used as a preparation for the Galway Festival for many trainers as it was the only all-weather surface about.

We were lucky enough to visit Laytown in 2017 and it was a magical experience. We stayed in an Air B&B in the middle of the village. There is one small hotel, potentially two in the area but that is the height of it. There’s only two or three pubs but they were fantastic craic. The entire beach was lit up, full of colour, keen punters, food outlets, on-course bookmakers along with jockeys, owners and trainers all excited at what may lie ahead that evening.

Around 5,000 turn up to the races annually which is a fantastic turnout for such a tiny wee village, cramped into a small field overlooking the Irish Sea. It may not be Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood but it is a surviving feature of a culture fast disappearing from Ireland and it is something that must stay going to keep up their traditions.

Top 5 Laytown Jockeys – Last 5 Years

  1. Colin Keane – 4 winners from 13 rides
  2. Christopher Geoghegan – 2 winners from 2 rides
  3. Miss Kate Harrington – 2 winners from 5 rides
  4. Billy Lee – 2 winners from 6 rides
  5. Shane Foley – 2 winners from 11 rides

Top 5 Laytown Trainers – Last 5 Years

  1. Georgios Pakidis – 2 winners from 3 runners
  2. Patrick Martin – 2 winners from 7 runners
  3. Jamie Osborne – 2 winners from 13 runners
  4. Richard John O’Brien – 1 winner from 1 runner
  5. Gerard Keane – 1 winner from 1 runner

Top 5 Laytown Owners – Last 5 Years

  1. Mr & Mrs McCann – 2 winners from 4 runners
  2. Melbourne 10 Racing – 2 winners from 14 runners
  3. James Mescall & Denis Beary – 1 winner from 1 runner
  4. T Howley Jnr – 1 winner from 1 runner
  5. Ballingarry Partnership – 1 winner from 1 runner

Laytown – 3 Horses To Follow

  1. Lady Nathaniel (3.45pm – racecard) should be able to get backers off to the perfect start at a decent price in the opening contest. Trainer Ger Lyons won this race last year with Silk Cravat and jockey Colin Keane is the main man around here in recent years with four winners from his last thirteen rides at the course. This Nathaniel filly was beat eight lengths in a competitive Galway Festival handicap at the end of July but has two runner-up efforts to her name on the All-Weather on Dundalk and this looks a golden opportunity for her to finally get off the mark.
  2. Kody Ridge (4.15pm – racecard) runs for the Melbourne 10 Syndicate, who have a staggering ten runners at the track for this meeting so the best of luck to them as they are fantastic supporters of the Laytown Races. Jamie Osborne brings over eight runners from the UK and this gelding can make his first run for the stable a winning one. He left Brian Ellison after a fine second in a Beverley claimer and interestingly, he has some sand form in the book as he was once a winner at Southwell. There are no fitness concerns and he should take beating.
  3. Monumental Man (5.45pm – racecard) can make this day a very memorable one for the Melbourne 10 Syndicate and Jamie Osborne. This nine year old is another horse having his first run for the stable since winning a Lingfield seller for former trainer Michael Attwater. He has buckets of early speed which should be a great asset around here and top jockey around here Colin Keane is booked for the ride which can only be a massive positive.

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