Posts by: Races Office

Galway Girl is the Right Fit for Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Racecourse

Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Races was Caroline Whelan from Ardrahan(Second from right) , pictured reciving her Prize from Sponsors Laura and Ailish Vaughan of Vaughan Shoes. Also pictured is Marietta Doran on left, Judge. Pic:Trish Forde.

Caroline Whelan, a newly-qualified primary school teacher and event planner from Ardrahan in County Galway was the stand-out winner at the Best Dressed Ladies Day at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday 27th June. Caroline collected the top prize of €1,500 cash and each of the nine runners-up received a goody bag to the value of €130.

Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Races was Caroline Whelan from Ardrahan. Pic:Trish Forde.

Caroline wore a royal blue jumpsuit from Sarah Jane Boutique in Magherafelt in County Derry and her headpiece was by Galway-based milliner Caithriona King. Caroline’s embellished belt was from eBay, shoes from Pennys and she bought her bag in the Galway Hat Shop.
Caroline said: “I am absolutely shocked but delighted to win Best Dressed Lady competition at Ballinrobe Racecourse, especially when there was such outstanding style here tonight. I started with my wonderful Caithriona King headpiece and built my outfit around that. The cash prize is so generous and I love going racing, so I’m going to spend every penny of it on style for the Galway races.”
Ailish Vaughan of Vaughan Shoes said: “Once again, we are delighted to be associated with ladies day at Ballinrobe Racecourse. The fashion stakes was extremely high and it was brilliant to see all the ladies who made such an effort to dress-up and come to Ballinrobe this evening. Sponsoring ladies day at Ballinrobe Racecourse is the perfect fit for us. Congratulations to Caroline and all the finalists – they looked fantastic. A big thank you also goes to John Flannelly and his team for a great night.”
Judge, Marietta Doran, TV Fashion Stylist and Event MC, remarked: I’ve had the privilege of judging

At Ballinrobe Races pictured was Stylist and TV Presenter Marietta Doran, who was judging the Best Dressed Lady on the Day. Pic:Trish Forde.

the Best Dressed Lady at Ballinrobe Racecourse for many years and I can’t get over how exceptional the style was this evening. It gets bigger and better every year. It’s a great testament to the stylish women of the West and the work Vaughan Shoes and Ballinrobe Racecourse do to promote the event.”
John Flannelly, Ballinrobe Racecourse Manager said: “The Ladies Day has really established itself as one of the best ladies days on the racing calendar. We were blown-away by the turnout and it was great to see so much colourful outfits and headpieces throughout the enclosure. No doubt, Marietta had a very tough job picking her ten finalists. I hope everyone had a great night.”

At Ballinrobe Races pictured were Finalists of the Best Dressed Lady Competition:Left to right: Race Committee Chairman John Staunton, Colleen Brady(Galway City), Michelle Barrett Manning (Belmullett), Isabelle Cummins (Ballinrobe), Paula Gannon(Athlone), Tara Lavin (Corrandulla), Ailish Vaughan(Vaughan Shoes:Ladies Day Sponsors),Best Dressed Lady Caroline Whelan (Ardrahan), Marietta Doran (Judge), Bernie McHale (Castlebar), Gretta Peters(Bansha, Tipperary), Helena Burke(Cong) and Mary Butler(Galway).
Pic:Trish Forde.

Stylist and Fashion Guru Marietta Doran to Judge Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day at Ballinrobe Ladies Day Prizes worth over €2,500 to be Won

Details have been announced for the Best Dressed Lady Competition at Ballinrobe Racecourse on Tuesday 27th June, the Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day.  TV fashion stylist, broadcaster and personal shopper, Marietta Doran will be guest judge, with the lucky winner scooping a cash prize of €1,500, plus gift bags for nine runners-up.

Following the success of last year’s event, local company, Vaughan Shoes are once again supporting the popular evening event, sponsoring the LadiesDay prizes and also the Vaughan Ladies Day Today Handicap. With shops in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar, family-owned Vaughan Shoes is one of the leading shoe store chains in the west of Ireland.

There is no pre-registration for the competition, just simply look out for the Best Dressed judge and spotters on the day.  The finalists will be announced after the fifth race. 

Style Judge, Marietta Doran, commented: “I am really looking forward to judging the Best Dressed Lady competition on Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day at the Ballinrobe Races! This race meeting is one of the highlights of my horse racing calendar because the fashion is always amazing and the atmosphere is simply electric. The Mayo ladies always manage to up the style stakes each year so with that in mind I’ll be looking for head-to-toe glamour.”

The feature race is the Treacy’s Pharmacies Irish EBF Fillies Handicap valued at €26,000, and the first of a seven-race Flat card kicks off at 5:50pm

John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said: “Ladies Day at Ballinrobe is one of the highlights of the season. There is always a fantastic atmosphere and it is a great social occasion. We are delighted to have many local sponsors here today including Vaughan Shoes who are sponsoring for their third year, and another hugely successful Mayo company, Treacy’s Pharmacies.We greatly appreciate their support.”

The winner of last year’s Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day was Fiona Glynn from Ballinasloe, County Galway, who wore a floral 1950’s prom-style Chi Chi London dress from ASOS and her hat was designed by Leitrim Millinery Jennifer Wynne. 

Raceday tickets can be purchased online at, or contact the office on 094-9541811,

For further information contact: John Flannelly, 087 2895974

Almost 200 School Children Take Part in HRI’s ‘Go Racing Kids Club’ Education Day at Ballinrobe Racecourse

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) held a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ Day at Ballinrobe racecourse on Tuesday 6th June. The objective of the ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ is to educate school children about racing and show them what happens behind-the-scenes at a racecourse. It also builds relationships between the racecourses and their local community, encouraging an affinity with racing which will hopefully produce future racegoers.

Ballinrobe Racecourse manager John Flannelly speaking about Racecourse maintanence. Pic:Trish Forde.

194 fifth and sixth class pupils from seven local schools took part. As part of the day they spent time walking the track with racecourse manager, John Flannelly who explained how the team at Ballinrobe racecourse prepare the track for its racing season.

The beautiful horse Lean Times pictured with Ugne Liukineviciute. Pic:Trish Forde.

Jockey Derek O’Connor and local trainer Michael Flannery spoke to the children about their day-to-day routines as a jockey and racehorse trainer, and Michael introduced them to racehorse Lean Times.

The pupils also received demonstrations from RACE (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) using the racehorse

Gortjordan N.S. pupil goes for Gold at The Go Racing Kids CLub At Ballinrobe Racecourse. Pic:Trish Forde.

simulator and took part in the ‘Front Runner – Racing Club for Kids’ racing-themed games, puzzles and quizzes.

Each pupil received a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ goodie bag which included complimentary tickets for them and their family members to go racing at Ballinrobe family day on Monday July 24th with a whole host of free activities for children, including a bouncy castle, the front runner club, colouring competitions and face painting.

Helen Cunnane, sixth class teacher at St. Joseph’s National School, commented: “The pupils had a very educational morning at the Go Racing Kids Club day at Ballinrobe racecourse. The racecourse is on our door step so it was very interesting to find out what is involved in a raceday.  I think from now on, the pupils will look at racing with new eyes.”

Is She Diesel wins the Monroes Mares H’Cap at Ballinrobe

Mayo Racing News 

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Local owner Paul Mullins likes nothing better than having winners at Ballinrobe, and some nice bets seemed to be landed as his mare Is She Diesel was backed from 12-1 into 5-1 in running out a comprehensive winner of the feature Monroe’s Live Mares Handicap Hurdle.
Running in her first handicap, the Seamus Fahey-trained mare was sent to the front between the last two flights by Rachael Blackmore and really saw it out well to take advantage of the considerable weight she was receiving from favourite Chambord Du Lys. The winning margin was six lengths.

BALLINROBE 29-5-2017.
The scenic view at the County Mayo venue this evening.

Irish racing previews and news bulletins are brought to you by Horse Racing Ireland and the Racing Post

Ballinrobe Races Launches Its 2017 Season Nine Race Meetings with Total Prize-Money of €920,000

At the Ballinrobe Racecourse 2017 season launch pictured were :Left to right:John Flannelly(Racecourse Manager), Aiden Burns(Owners Association), Leo Powell( The Irish Field), Nessa Joyce (Irish E.B.F.), Michael Higgins (Irish Injured Jockey’s Fund), Michael Grassick(Irish Racehorse Trainers Association( and Ballinrobe Race Committee Chairman John Staunton. Pic:Trish Forde.


Ballinrobe Racecourse launched its 2017 season this evening, with nine exciting and themed race days to look forward to from May 2nd to September 21st, comprising seven National Hunt meetings and two Flat meetings, with total prize-money of €920,000.  There will be 11 feature races throughout the season, each with a prize-fund of between €20,000 and €40,000. 

At the Ballinrobe Racecourse 2017 Racing Season launch pcitured was M.C. Kevin Murphy speaking with C.E.O. of The Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, Michael Grassick. Pic:Trish Forde.

Over 100 attended the launch including Michael Grassick, Chief Executive of the Irish Racehorse Trainers Association, Aiden Burns, Manager of the Association of the Irish Racehorse Owners Association, Leo Powell, Editor, Irish Field, Nessa Joyce EBF, Barbara White, Marketing & PR Manager in Horse Racing Ireland, and sponsors  McHale, Vaughan Shoes and Breaffy House Resort

Racecourse Manager, John Flannelly, unveiled their exciting plans for the 2017 season which includes the newly refurbished bars which were all upgraded during the winter.  Planning permission has also been received for a new racecourse entrance, which will commence in September.  This new phase of redevelopment is part of the Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) racecourse capital development scheme, with HRI providing 40% of the total project cost.

John Flannelly, Manager of Ballinrobe Racecourse, said: “We are delighted to launch our   2017 racing programme. Our customers are our number one priority here in Ballinrobe. We have just completed extensive refurbishment of our two public bars, which will greatly enhance the raceday experience, and works on a new racecourse entrance will get underway at the end of our season.  Sponsorship is key to our success, with over 95% of our races sponsored, we very much appreciate the continued level of local sponsorship support.”

The Breaffy House Resort Raceday will open Ballinrobe’s season on Tuesday evening, May 2nd.  The County Mayo 4-star hotel is located in the heart of Castlebar, set in 90 acres of parkland.

Now in their fourth year of sponsorship, one of the highlights of the Ballinrobe fixture list is the McHale Raceday on Tuesday May 30th, sponsored by specialist farm

At the Ballinrobe Racecourse season laucnh pictured were:Left to right:Racecourse Manager John Flannelly, John Staunton(Race Committee Chairman), Billy McHale of McHale, Main Sponsors, Joe Daly(Race Committee).
Pic:Trish Forde.

machinery company, McHale. The McHale Mayo National has increased in value from €30,000 to €40,000, making it the most valuable race at Ballinrobe this year.

Vaughan Shoes will once again sponsor the ever-popular ladies day on June 27th.  With shops in Ballinrobe, Claremorris and Castlebar, Vaughan Shoes is one of the leading shoe store chains in the west of Ireland, and judging the best dressed competition this year is TV fashion stylist, broadcaster and personal shopper, Marietta Doran.  The best dressed lady will receive a cash prize of €1,500, with nine runner-up prizes.

Family day at Ballinrobe Racecourse takes place on Monday July 24th with a whole host of free activities for children, including a bouncy castle, the front runner club, colouring competitions and face painting.

Fixtures 2017

Tuesday 2nd May (e) The Breaffy House Resort Raceday

Monday 29th May (e)

Tuesday 30th May (e) McHale Raceday

Tuesday 27th June (e) Vaughan Shoes Ladies Day

Monday 24th July (e) Family Day

Tuesday 25th July (e)

Monday 14th August (e)

Tuesday 29th August (e)

Thursday 21st September 

‘e’ evening meeting