Sunday, 24 March 2019

Irish Racecourses: Downpatrick

Downpatrick racecourse
Downpatrick is a small town about 20 miles from Belfast in County, Northern Ireland.The population is just under 20,000. Did you know that Downpatrick cathedral is said to be the burial ground of St Patrick who was known as the ''Apostle of Ireland'' and patron saint of Ireland.    

Downpatrick is one of two racecourses in Northern Ireland. The other is Down Royal.  

Its history dates back 300 from 1685. It is one mile away from this historic town. With a strong local following, this is one of the friendliest courses you can visit. 

Downpatrick is is just under 100 hundred miles from Dublin and 28 miles from Belfast. 

Nearest airport is Bishops Court just over 1 mile from the course. 

Flat racing:

This right-handed oval and undulating course over 11 furlong circuit. A short 1 furlong uphill run in. No draw advantage. 

National Hunt racing:

This right-handed oval and undulating course over 11 furlong circuit. A short 1 furlong uphill run in. There 5 hurdles and 7 fences. 
  
Contact details:

Ladies at Downpatrick Downpatrick Racecourse 
71 Lismore Road 
Bishopcourt 
Downpatrick 
BT30 7EY

Tel: 48 446 12054
Fax: 48 448 42227 

Email: info@downpatrickracecourse.co.uk  

Website: http://www.downpatrickracecourse.co.uk/  

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Saturday, 23 March 2019

Irish Racecourses: Thurles

Irish Racecourses: Thurles
Thurles Racecourse is situated less than a mile from Thurles town centre, in County Tipperary, in the Shannon Region of Ireland. Thurles is, in fact, one of three racecourses in County Tipperary, but unlike Clonmel and Tipperary, a.k.a. Limerick Junction exclusively stages National Hunt racing. Thurles also has the distinction of being the only privately-owned racecourse in Ireland, having been in the Molony Family for at least four generations since 1911. 

Thurles Racecourse stages eight National Hunt fixtures between October and March. Notable races include the Grade Two Analog's Daughter Mares Novice Chase, run over 2 miles 4½ furlongs in January, and the Grade Two Kinloch Brae Chase, run over the same distance in late January or early February. In recent years, two winners of the Kinloch Brae Chase, Don Cossack in 2016 and Sizing John in 2017, have gone on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

The steeplechase course at Thurles is a right-handed, undulating oval, approximately a mile and a quarter in circumference, with seven, moderately stiff, fences to a circuit and a run-in of approximately one furlong. The course rises steeply throughout the back straight but falls, equally steeply, towards the final bend and the two-furlong home straight, in which the final two fences are situated. On the whole, the course is sharp in character, favouring horses that race on, or close to the pace, although those who do too much in the back straight may pay for their exertions later on. 

Above anything else, Thurles is renowned for its extraordinarily free draining soil which, even in the depths of the Irish winter, rarely becomes very testing and is almost always raceable. Thurles has received almost universal praise for its ground conditions, with trainers safe in the knowledge that they will not overface young, inexperienced horses, while the steep hill in the back straight provides useful insight for those heading to the Cheltenham Festival.





Friday, 22 March 2019

Irish Racecourses: Dundalk

Irish Racecourses: Dundalk StadiumDundalk [Dalgan's fort] is a town of County Louth, Ireland. It sits on the Castletown River, flowing into the Dundalk Bay. It is near the border of Northern Ireland between Dublin and Belfast in the province of Leinster. 

Horse Racing and Greyhound Racing is held at Dundalk Stadium. This is Ireland's first all-weather race track opening in August 2007. It cost 35 Million euros. 

Local transport 

Dundalk is located 52 miles North of Dublin. The racecourse is just one and half miles from the town centre of Dundalk. 

Bishop Court's airport is about forty miles away. 

Flat racecourse:

Dundalk is a left-handed course covering ten furlongs with a run in of two and a half furlongs with an up hill finish. A low draw is an advantage over 5 - 6f.   

National Hunt racecourse:

The turf course was closed in 2001. The racecourse dated back to 1889.


Contact details:
Ladies at Dundalk
Dundalk Racecourse 
Mullgrove 
Ballymascanlon
Dundalk 
County Louth

Tel: 353 42 937 1271 
Fax: 353 42 937 1271 

Website: http://www.dundalkstadium.com/

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Thursday, 21 March 2019

Irish Racecourses: Curragh

The Curragh Racecourse
The Curragh, County Kildare, Ireland. A flat open plain of almost 2,000 hectares. It's actually between Newbridge and Kildare. 

The Curragh is synonymous with Irish horse breeding and training. 

The Curragh Racecourse - known as The Curragh - is the most important in Ireland. In fact the meaning of the name means ''place of running horses''. 

The first recorded fixture took place in 1727. However, racing was held on the plains long before. This course is recognised for a number of Flat races including: 


  • Irish 1000 Guineas    
  • Irish 2000 Guineas
  • Irish Derby 
  • Irish Oaks 
  • Irish St Leger 

All Group 1 race of the highest caliber. Over 40 notable races are held at this course. I very much doubt any racecourse in the world has a higher number. 

Flat racing:

The Curragh is a horseshoe-shaped course win a circuit of 2 miles and a steep uphill run in of 3 furlongs. The sprint distances over 5 -6f 
is straight. Low draw is favoured in sprints, while high numbers on round course.    

Contact details:

Curragh Racecourse 
Curragh
Women watching at The CurraghCounty Kildare
Ireland 

Tel: 353 45 441 205
Fax: 353 45 441 442




Travel information: 

The Curragh racecourse is about 30 miles from Dublin (Dublin-Cork-Limerick road). It's 9 miles from Naas and just 2 miles from neighbouring Newbridge. 

Over 30 pick up locations by coach £25 pp (racecourse admission an return coach) 

You can buy a combined racecourse and rail ticket at Dublin station (Heuston Station) for all weekend meeting. 

The nearest airport is Casement some 20 miles away. 

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Irish Racecourses: Navan

Irish Racecourses: Navan
Navan Racecourse, a.k.a. Proudstown Park is situated in the townland of Proudstown, approximately three miles north of Navan town centre, in County Meath, in eastern Ireland. Navan stages 17 Flat and National Hunt fixtures throughout the year but is probably better known for the latter. 

Notable races ‘over the sticks’ at Navan include the Grade Two Boyne Hurdle, run in February, the Grade Two Fortria Chase and the Grade Three Monksfield Novice Hurdle, both run in November, and the Grade Two Navan Novice Hurdle – which, between 2004 and 2014, was a Grade One contest – run in December. On the Flat, Group Three Vintage Crop Stakes staged in late April or early May, is the most valuable race of the season, worth €60,000 in added prize money. Named in honour of the first European-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup, the Vintage Crop Stakes is a recognised trial for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot; in recent years, Yeats, Fame And Glory, Leading Light and Order Of St. George, all trained by Aidan O’Brien, have won both races. 

The steeplechase course at Navan is a left-handed, undulating, rectangle, approximately a mile and a half in extent, with nine, fairly stiff fences to a circuit and a run-in of approximately one furlong. The fourth-last fence, an open ditch, is directly followed by the turn into the home straight, which features three more plain fences. The hurdle course is laid out inside the steeplechase track and features seven hurdles to a circuit. The course is essentially galloping in character, but the uphill climb from the final bend, which is three-and-a-half furlongs from the winning post, provides one of the stiffest finishes in the country. In the depths of winter, soft or heavy going can make conditions very testing indeed, so Navan is no place for horses with doubtful stamina. 

The flat course, like the steeplechase course, offers no hiding place in terms of stamina, but similarly offers plenty of room for manoeuvre and is renowned as one of the fairest in Ireland. Sprint races are run on a straight course, which joins the round course at the top of the home straight, but horses can win from any position on either track and little, or no, draw bias exists. 




Irish Racecourses: Punchestown

Irish Racecourses: Punchestown
Punchestown Racecourse is situated on the outskirts of Naas, the county town of Co. Kildare, in the eastern part of the Irish Midlands. Punchestown Racecourse is, in fact, less than three-and-a-half miles from Naas Racecourse but, unlike its near neighbour, exclusively stages National Hunt racing. Punchestown hosts 17 National Hunt fixtures between April and December, with notable races including the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle, the highlight of the two-day Winter Festival, in November, and the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Chase, in December. 

 However, Punchestown is synonymous with the Irish National Hunt Festival, commonly known as the Punchestown Festival, which is staged over five days in late April and early May and brings the Irish National Hunt season to a close. The Punchestown Festival is one of the highlights of the Irish sporting calendar and features no fewer than 12 Grade One contests, including the Champion Chase, Champion Stayers’ Hurdle, Punchestown Gold Cup and Punchestown Champion Hurdle, not to mention the fascinating La Touche Cup, run over 4 miles 1½ furlongs on the only cross-country ‘banks’ course in Ireland. 

The main steeplechase course at Punchestown is a right-handed, undulating oval, approximately two miles in circumference, with eleven, moderately stiff, but fair, fences to a circuit and a run-in of approximately one furlong. The course is galloping in character, with a steady climb throughout the final five furlongs, which affords staying types an opportunity to find their stride. 

The hurdle course, laid out inside the main steeplechase course, is only a mile-and-three-quarters in circumference and, consequently, much sharper in character. The bend at the end of the back straight is particularly sharp and, on the whole, the course favours horses that race handily. 

The cross-country course consists of a twisting, turning circuit, three miles around, with left-handed and right-handed bends. Horses must negotiate a series of idiosyncratic obstacles, including banks, fences and walls, before returning to the racecourse proper and a single, regulation birch fence between them and the winning post.




Irish Racecourse: Roscommon

Irish Racecourse: Roscommon
Roscommon Racecourse is situated in Roscommon, the county town of County Roscommon, in the Western Region of Ireland. Roscommon stages nine Flat and National Hunt meetings between May and September, but all but the final meeting of the year are held in the evening. Indeed, that final, afternoon fixture features the most notable National Hunt race in the Roscommon calendar, the Grade Three Kilbegnet Novice Chase, run over an extended two miles. 

On the Flat, the Listed Lenebane Stakes, run over an extended 1 mile 3 furlongs in July, is the most prestigious race of the year at Roscommon, worth just over €45,000 in added prize money. In recent years, the Lenebane Stakes has been won by the likes of Quest For Peace, who went on to win the Cumberland Lodge Stakes at Ascot and the Glorious Stakes at Goodwood, before being campaigned in Australia, and Panama Hat, who was subsequently just touched off in the Grade Three American St. Leger Stakes at Arlington Park, Chicago. 

The steeplechase course at Roscommon is a right-handed rectangle, approximately a mile and a quarter around, with five, easy fences to a circuit and a run-in of two hundred yards or so. The three-furlong home straight rises steadily throughout, but the course is otherwise fairly flat. The turns, especially the turn out of the back straight, are sharp and, on the whole, the course favours horses with sufficient pace to race prominently. That said, Roscommon is considered a fair test for most, if not all, types of horse, with no particular bias one way or the other. Similar comments apply to the flat course, where tactical speed can be advantageous, but there is little or no draw bias, even over shorter distances.