Home of racing in South West deepens a new bond with Royal Ascot

Stephen Fernane

A recent visit to Royal Ascot was given the seal of approval by members of the Listowel Racing Committee after they enjoyed a day of unrivalled hospitality in the prestigious Royal Enclosure Lodge.

The invitation came about following a visit by Guy Henderson - Chief Executive of Royal Ascot - to the Guinness Kerry National at Listowel Races.

This is the second time that the Listowel Race Company have enjoyed a visit to what is arguably one of the most famous flat meetings of the year.

But while Ascot may be the home of flat racing, the East Berkshire course also hosts national hunt racing in winter, which is where the connection with Listowel comes in.

Another notable link at this year's Ascot meeting was the running of 2018 Guinness Kerry National Winner, Snow Falcon, in the Ascot Stakes.

David Fitzmaurice of Listowel Racing Committee said it's about 'establishing links' between the courses.

"We were really wined and dined and well looked after. They even brought us into the Rose Terrace for afternoon tea and at nine minutes past two we were ushered onto the balcony to see the Queen parading down the racecourse. It had lovely touch of class about it," said David.

Links were first established back in 2016 when David served as Chairman of Listowel Racing Committee. He met with Guy Henderson at the Dunraven Arms Hotel in Limerick where invitations were first exchanged. The Ascot contingent still enjoy their annual visit to Listowel Races and it's a reciprocal relationship that is working well.   

"They absolutely love Listowel Races. They remark on the friendliness of our meeting and the fact that the crowds are so big. They couldn't get over the product we have in Listowel. Both Listowel and Ascot have much to offer and this relationship is a great way of promoting our courses and meetings," David added