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Book launched to celebrate 150 years of racing at Laytown

Book celebrating 150 years of racing at Laytown
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Coinciding with Thursday's annual fixture on the beach at Laytown, a book has been published celebrating 150 years of racing at the County Meath venue.

Laytown Strand Races, written by local historians John Kirwan and Fiona Ahern, charts the history of the unique meeting and contains the memories of many big names of the sport.

Dermot Weld, with 27 winners, is the leading trainer at the meeting  and the book includes details of all the winners, their owners, trainers and riders, dating back to 1919. Legendary amateur Bunny Cox rode 16 winners at the meeting, more than any other jockey.

Racing at Laytown dates back to at least the early 19th century but it was not until 1868 that the meeting was officially recognised by the Turf Club.

Until 1994, when five jockeys were injured and three horses were killed, races at Laytown were run around bends but ever since all races have been run on a straight course.

The use of blinkers was banned after Persian Tactics, trained by Weld, fell and ran loose in 1994, swimming the mouth of the River Boyne and ending up grazing in a field at Baltray golf course further up the coast.

The book, a 273-page hardback, provides a detailed and colourful look back at Laytown and its ups and downs. It is well illustrated with colour and black-and-white photographs and costs €20. The book can be purchased from George Bryan's binocular kiosk at Thursday's meeting and at other racecourses or through the Laytown website.

Blinkers was banned after Persian Tactics fell and ran loose in 1994, swimming the River Boyne and ending up at Baltray golf course

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