Kilbeggan Racecourse has been received with a welcome boost with the addition of its first-ever graded race.
The AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National has been upgraded to a Grade B status with an increased prize fund of €100,000.
The race itself takes place on Friday, July 8th will also run with a substantially higher prize fund and is the centrepiece of the Kilbeggan Races fixture list and the summer jumps season.
Paddy Dunican, managing director of Kilbeggan Races, said: “We are delighted that the AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National race has been upgraded to a Grade B race. With the support of our sponsor AXA Farm Insurance & Horse Racing Ireland, the prize money has increased from €75,000 to €100,000. We are excited to see some top-quality runners due to the improved status and increased prize money on offer. The aim has always been to have a graded race at Kilbeggan, so it’s great to see our vision come to fruition on Friday, July 8th.
Christy Doherty, AXA head of Agriculture, commented: “AXA Farm Insurance are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the Midlands National for the fourth year. The Midlands National is a very important event for our business as it provides us with the opportunity to engage with our customers at our local racecourse on their biggest race meeting of their season.”
Jason Morris, Horse Racing Ireland’s director of racing and strategic projects, said: “The AXA Farm Insurance Midlands National race has become a real feature of the summer National Hunt programme and Horse Racing Ireland is delighted that the quality of runners in recent years has justified the race’s promotion to a Grade B race, giving Kilbeggan a well deserved first Black Type race.”
The evening meeting also hosts a strong supporting race-card including the €25,000 Writech Group Handicap Hurdle.
The first race is off at 5:20pm.
By Gareth Danaher
Photo: Kilbeggan Races Logo