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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Ireland’s only seaside track is ready for annual beach party

Beach party: racing at Laytown takes place on Thursday
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Racing on Ireland's only beach course at Laytown has been taking place for more than 150 years but the County Meath track has an unrelenting ability to dazzle its visitors, which is why track manager Kevin Coleman is expecting Tuesday's annual fixture to be another sellout.

Hospitality has been fully booked for the past six weeks and Coleman says his phone has not stopped ringing since entries were revealed on Thursday.

He said: "It's always a very well attended fixture and the popularity continues to grow. We have been in touch with British trainers such as Jamie Osborne and Phil McEntee – both of whom are keen to make the trip – and that adds to the whole occasion.

"In fact, I would say about half of our hospitality has been booked by British-based racegoers. They seem to love coming back here, which shows the broader reach of Laytown."

Given Laytown races only once a year, and groundstaff are forced to wait until the tide is out before laying out stalls and rails, there is only a certain amount of planning that can be done.

Coleman added: "At the moment the weather looks good, but you can't really take any chances. We had to call off the meeting a few years ago just half an hour before the first race because storm water was making its way onto the track.

"We've taken every precaution since that episode, and we actually dam the track while the racing takes place. That means all streams will be blocked around the course, and that should ensure a good racing surface for all six races.

"We can't wait to start laying out the track on Tuesday and would urge anyone who hasn't been to make the trip."

We cannot wait to start laying out the track on Tuesday
E.W. Terms
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