TG4 to broadcast racing on seven consecutive weekends in March and April

Four Irish-trained runners feature on undercard at the King Abdulaziz racecourse outside Riyadh in programme worth $30.5m

Irish racing’s free-to-air TV coverage has got a boost from TG4’s decision to broadcast seven consecutive weekends during March and April.

Beginning at Leopardstown on Sunday, March 7th, the Irish language station will deliver live coverage of racing every weekend until April 18th.

It includes the opening of the flat season on turf at the Curragh on March 21st as well as coverage from both Fairyhouse and Cork on Saturday, April 3th.

After 16 years covering the Listowel festival, TG4 extended to broadcasting at Punchestown's St Valentine's Day fixture last Sunday. Friday's announcement is another significant step.


“The coverage will be extensive, to say the least. We will show six races live from Leopardstown to begin with, and on days with two meetings we have pencilled in live races from both fixtures,” said Ronan Ó Coisdealbha, TG4’s head of sport. “We are particularly excited about the start of the new flat season at the Curragh.”

Meanwhile, the second renewal of the world’s richest race, the $20 million Saudi Cup, takes place at 5.40pm Irish time on Saturday evening and is live on Virgin Media 2.

Four Irish-trained runners feature on the undercard at the King Abdulaziz racecourse outside Riyadh in an overall programme worth $30.5 million.

Co Dublin trainer Ado McGuinness and champion apprentice Gavin Ryan team up for both Harry’s Bar in the $1.5 million Dirt Sprint (4.50) and Saltonstall in the $1 million Turf Cup (1.00.)

Willie Mullins has booked Hollie Doyle for the ride on True Self who takes on Saltonstall, while there is also Irish interest in a turf handicap (2.10) in the shape of Jessica Harrington's Barbados.

In the feature event two top US dirt stars, Knicks Go and Charlatan, go head to head, although John Gosden’s French Derby winner Mishriff also takes his chance in the nine furlong contest.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column