Kilbeggan Races: €50,000 Midlands National and Best Dressed Ladies Competition

Kilbeggan Races

TV presenter and style entrepreneur Darren Kennedy is one of the judges for the Kilbeggan Races Best Dressed Ladies Competition on Friday.

The Kilbeggan Races €50,000 Midlands National and the Best Dressed Ladies Competition takes place this Friday, July 21, with the first race starting at 5.55pm. 

The Midlands National and Best Dressed Ladies Competition is the highlight of the year for Kilbeggan Races and Kilbeggan Races Manager Paddy Dunican told '',

“We are looking forward to The Midlands National and Ladies Evening Race meeting, which is the highlight of our year at Kilbeggan. The event has been described in many quarters as the social event of the year in the Midlands. This year we already have a huge increase in group bookings from people, for a staff night out and a social gathering of friends."


The Midland’s National of €50,000 now has a very important place in National Hunt racing during the summer months  providing a top class race for good summer horses, who can go on to win at meetings like Galway.

This year it’s expected to be very competitive again as all the top trainer’s like Willie Mullins, Noel Meade, Gordon Elliott, Henry De Bromhead, and Joseph O’Brien have had winners on the track this year.

The card also has sponsored races including the Michael Moore Mercedes Benz Handicap Hurdle of €11,500; the European Breeders Fund Novice Chase of €15,000; and the Tom McCormack Memorial Mares Hurdle of €11,000, which honours the former Secretary of the local race committee. With over €125,000 in prize money there will be competitive races for all lovers of National Hunt Racing.

The last meeting had a bit of everything with leading owner JP McManus arriving in a helicopter to see his horse Landofhopeandglory winning the Carmel Fay Memorial Chase (she was the sister of his Racing Manager Frank Berry).

The Hungarian Ambassador Istvan Palffy was in attendance with his lovely wife and enjoyed the success of the Sligo Syndicate who won with Cairnshill. In spite of the rain they lit up the track with their singing of “We Won’t Go Home ‘Til Morning”. Willie Mullin’s won with Miss Sapphire and jockey Danny Mullin’s commented that the Kilbeggan Management produced lovely ground every year. Black Zambesi became the first horse to win twice this year at Kilbeggan and should be watched if he runs at this meeting.



They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that elegance never fades but the ladies who compete in the Best Dressed Ladies Competition will not dwell too much on that as they compete for the first prize.

The Wineport Lodge, Glasson, Athlone is again sponsoring the competition, with €1,000 spending money plus the Woman of Style Weekend at the Wineport Lodge which includes a 2 night stay worth €1,000, dinner one evening, one Afternoon Tea, and some head to toe pampering. 

The judges are TV presenter and style entrepreneur Darren Kennedy, associated with the Brit Awards and hosting the London Fashion Week Festival and Roscrea based milliner Alison Roe.  At the first meeting at the track in 1901 the ladies in the stand were described as “like a sloping bank of many hued flowers or a hillside where many bright plumed birds were at rest. Let’s hope the event next Friday can match that image.


The seven race card provides admission for adults €15, Students & OAP €12, special discounts for staff customers, and friends for a group of 10 or more, with admission discounted to €12 per person. There is a Special Discounted Summer Party Pack including Admission ticket, €5 Drink Voucher, €5 Food Voucher and Race Card for just €22 per person for a group of €10 or more. It will also include Live Music and free bouncing castles, obstacle course for children.


Kilbeggan is all about the joy of the moment, whether it is a horse winning, a crowd cheering, friends laughing, clothes dazzling, glasses tinkling, music pleasing, and bookies paying. Go and experience it next Friday and it will be a fond memory for this year. Arrive early and you will enjoy it better.

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