The white flag will be raised for the first race meeting of the year at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Wednesday next, April 27 as the Mayo track commences its 90th year of racing. The meeting gets underway at 5.30 p.m. with the all-national hunt card the first race meeting in the West of Ireland in 2011. The recent good weather has the ground riding good with manager John Flannelly remarking that the track is in super condition. And despite the recessionary times, Ballinrobe Racecourse hopes to continue to draw the crowds. Judging by the success of last year, the appeal of the Mayo track remains as strong as ever. “2010 went very well for us. We got great feedback on the developments we carried out. The pavilion has made a huge difference along with the new 160 seater restaurant. The betting last year was very good and our attendance was up by 15 per cent. We hope that we have another successful year in 2011. We will be celebrating 90 years of racing at Ballinrobe, which is a huge milestone,” commented John Flannelly.
A new addition this year is the photo gallery in the pavilion. The racecourse committee have put together a collection of pictures of horses that have won at Ballinrobe that were locally owned, trained or bred as well as including greats such as Doran’s Pride that won at the track.
The first meeting is made up of four hurdle races, two chases and a bumper on next Wednesday’s card. The course manager is very grateful to the sponsors that are key players in the success of Ballinrobe. With next Wednesday marking the first of seven meetings at Ballinrobe in 2011, John Flannelly is looking forward to another exciting year. “It’s a big social occasion. And its a great time for friends to get together. In these hard times Ballinrobe represents great value for money. There are great deals available on group bookings for the Coranna and Corrib Restaurants with the latter offering admission, racecard, two-course meal and a €5 free bet, all for €30 in bookings of ten or more people. Normal admission rates remain at €15 for adults, €10 for students and OAPs with children U-14 free. Safire will provide live music in the Carra Bar.