Tag Archives: Laytown

Laytown Races

It couldn’t be more different from any other racetrack in the country – the Laytown Races – this annual meeting, not held on turf or an artificial surface….. but on the beach! This provides the most unique scenery one can imagine for a horse race: dunes, sand and of course the wild Irish Sea! Hosted for the first time in 1868 at Laytown beach, only a half an hour drive from Dublin City.

Once a year when the tide is low, they build this temporary track on the beach. It doesn’t take much: a rail, a winning post – and there you go – bring on the horses!

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Now, I finally made it to Laytown myself. Took me only four years living on the green island to get a Thursday off! The place was rocking when I arrived. No doubt helped by the Irish weather god who was kind enough and sent the sun as the guardian for the afternoon.

Crowds were enormous around the parade ring. It almost felt “Cheltenham like” – no joke! Down on the beach things where a bit more quit and relaxed. Someone sunbathing here, kids playing in the mud there… the horses thundering past only a couple of meters away! Where else do you get that close to these magnificent creatures in full flight?!

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And that’s the reason why Laytown proves to be enormously popular with racing fans – locally and internationally. You’ll be hearing plenty of foreign accents…. and cameras! SO many people with cameras! And I mean, not the cheap ones. No, the really good DSLR’s, with some extremely expensive glass attached to it! I looked like an amateur with my D7100 and Tameron telephoto lens. But hey, I’am, after all….

So, what’s the conclusion? Well, Laytown is awesome! It really is. If you ever get the chance – go! You won’t be disappointed. It’s such a unique place… a really beautiful one….. a really special one.

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Find some more of my shots from the day below. Open full size through click on the pic. Feel free to share as well of you like them.

Thursday Selections: Laytown Races

Photo: rte.ie

Going to the beach this afternoon! But not for a swim, but for racing! It’s the annual raceday on the Laytown beach, and it’s the first time for me to go. Finally! I though it would never happen. The races are low grade but the scenery is unique + I’ve identified a couple of “good things”.

4.10 Laytown: 50-70 Handicap, 6f

Mr Bounty makes appeal in this field now down to a very workable mark again. He won here at Laytown last year over 6f off a 1lb higher mark and won a decent Navan sprint back in April off his current mark. He should be competitive with the weight and course sure to suit.

Mr Bounty @ 6/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

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4.45 Laytown: 47-65 Handicap, 6f

Doonard Prince was a good runner-up here at Laytown in a better race off a 9lb higher mark last year. He won an Apprentice Handicap off 61 earlier this year but has largely been poor since then. Down to a mark of 59, he should go close if the return to the beach helps him to regain some of his form.

Doonard Prince @ 13/2 SkyBet – 5pts Win

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6.25 Laytown: 50-80 Handicap, 7f

Veteran Swiss Cross is a versatile horse who can win on a variety of trips and grounds. He has been a bit on and off this season but ran well more often than not. Down a mark off 76 he should be thereabouts in a race that lacks depth.

Swiss Cross @ 9/1 SkyBet – 5pts Win