Cheltenham hero Flooring Porter at Kilbeggan

One of the wisest comments on horse racing came from the great W C Fields when he said, “Horse sense is a thing a horse has, which keeps it from betting on people.” If we have learned anything from racing, it is the unpredictability of events on the track and sometimes good people get a deserved win.

Trainer Dermot McLoughlin won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse last year in a shock result with Freewheelin Dylan at 150/1 and this year he repeated the result when Lord Lariat won the race at 40/1.

Last year, Gavin Cromwell trained Flooring Porter to win the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham with no one to cheer. This year, he repeated the feat for the syndicate group from Roscommon and Galway with a horse who was bought for €6,000 on social media.

Kilbeggan Races are on next Friday May 13 at 4.55pm (seven races) and it will be a chance for you to see two exceptional champions in Lord Lariat and Flooring Porter.

First May meeting

The two-day meeting in Kilbeggan in April was a considerable success. Manager Paddy Dunican said: “Our Spring Two-Day National Hunt race meeting on April 21 and 22 got off to a brilliant start. We experienced an increase in our attendance since our pre Covid-19 race meeting in April 2019.

“We had Ireland’s top National Hunt trainers including Willie Mullins, Henry De Bromhead, Joseph O’Brien, Jessica Harrington and Gavin Cromwell winning races and providing exciting and competitive racing at Kilbeggan. We encourage patrons to book their tickets online to avail of our special discounts.”

It was interesting that the first two races were won by leading trainers Joseph O’Brien with Faron at 10/3 and Jessica Harrington with Sizing Mauritius at 6/4. They were very popular with punters. The meeting finished with Willie Mullins winning the last two bumpers with Wall On The Moon at 8/15 and Old Bill Bailey at 1/1F. These are two horses to be followed.

The highlight of the day was the success of Eat The Book in a handicap hurdle at 40/1. His trainer David Dunne said his jockey Simon Condon was a “terrible” jockey and “he would admit that himself.” Simon rode his first winner at the age of fifty-nine in a handicap hurdle beating Mark Walsh by over five lengths. He became famous in the media and national papers as the story went out about a 59-year-old man winning, after failing in up to sixty previous races, since he first competed in 1981.

As Simon said: “There was nothing in front of me, only this open space and a big green track (Kilbeggan) and it was a lovely feeling.”

Flooring Porter and Lord Lariat

When Freewheelin Dylan won the Irish Grand National at 150/1 last year, it was part of a great season for Dermot McLoughlin and his team, as they also won the Midland’s Grand National at Kilbeggan, which the horse loved.

The story of Lord Lariat in the hands of 7lb claimer Paddy O’Hanlon in the BoyleSports’ Irish Grand National is just as remarkable for him and owners P J Casey and Pat Blake. There is a connection locally, as he was bred by Donal Walker, Athlone.

The sire Golden Lariat, who has been highly successful, stands at Tim Carey’s, Tullaghansleek Stud in Westmeath, which dates back to 1867. He bred two Irish Grand National winners and we can all remember Líon Na Bearnaí. O’Hanlon only had nine winners for the season but won easily in the end, beating Frontal Assault and favourite Galliard Du Mensil.

Flooring Porter was exceptional in winning the Paddy Power’s Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham two years in succession and on St Patrick’s Day. The thirty supporters of the syndicate were wearing their black and white scarves - the colours of the syndicate, on St Patrick’s Day, when so many of the crowd were wearing green.

The thirty supporters of the Flooring Porter syndicate from Roscommon and Galway were conspicuous in their black and white scarves, the colours in which their horse rode to victory. Initially ,they hoped to win a race in Kilbeggan or Roscommon with no thought of a Cheltenham victory. It might not be Cheltenham, but people at Kilbeggan, will enjoy a true champion.

It will be a special occasion and the first meeting in May should be a great occasion for everyone, from punters to families. The first race is at 4.55pm, so make sure to arrive early.

Special discount packages

Our general admission ticket to our race meetings is €15. We are offering special discounts for staff, customers and friends on admission tickets at €12 each, for groups of ten people or more.

Summer Party Pack Packages

We have our Special Discounted Summer Party Pack from €23 per person, which includes admission ticket + 2 x €5 food/drink vouchers and a free race card for groups of 10 or more.

Book tickets online to avail of our discounts on