LAYTOWN is a special meeting as racing takes place on the beach. It is unique, being the only such meeting run under the rules of racing in Ireland, and always attracts huge crowds of intrigued spectators, as well as the usual horseracing enthusiasts.

This year’s meeting is set to take place on Laytown Strand on Thursday, September 8th, with the first race due to go to post at approximately 4.50pm. The Laytown Races 2022 launch took place recently at Gilna’s The Cottage Inn. Local residents and racegoers were entertained on the evening by the much-loved and much-missed race commentator Des Scahill. He brought guests through Laytown’s plans for the race meeting on Thursday week.

Here are some of the highlights.

Food court

This September racegoers will see an expanded food court area at the seaside track, with an improved offering, along with a new seating area which is set to be a big hit with racegoers.

The Pride of Place Maiden has become a firm favourite at Laytown since its introduction in 2019. It involves a draw in which the residents of local housing estates and other local residential areas are randomly paired with one of the horses in the race.

The estate matched with the first horse home in the race will win a €400 voucher for the local Pat’s Nurseries, and the runner-up will receive a €300 voucher for Black’s Garden Centre in Julianstown. This can be used by residents to enhance either their estate or Laytown village with plants, flowers or trees.

Representatives of the winning resident groups will be invited into the ring for a presentation after the race.

The Laytown Race Committee is also teaming up with Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh and Scoil Oilibheir Naofa national schools for a colouring competition for pupils. The entries will be displayed at the races and will be judged on three age categories, with three prizes in each category.

No restrictions

The chairman of Laytown Races, Joe Collins, said: “We are really looking forward to racing this September with no restrictions. The committee members and I are always keen to engage with the local community and give the best experience possible to all our racegoers. So, in addition to the unique races on the beach, we are excited to introduce the new and improved food court.

“We hope the colouring competition will provide a platform where the pupils of Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh and Scoil Oilibheir Naofa can learn more about horses in a child-centred way. The Pride of Place Maiden has gone from strength to strength and allows us to give a little bit back to residents who have always been so supportive of Laytown Races.”

For more information and to purchase tickets visit Laytown Races is running a draw for those who book online. If you intend to visit Laytown this September, book in advance and you could win additional tickets, racecards and food court vouchers.

The Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) represents those who own and/or operate Ireland’s 26 racecourses nationwide. AIR wishes all at Laytown Races the very best of luck with their upcoming meeting.