Saturday, 1 September 2018

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 
Women watching at The CurraghCounty Kildare

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. 

Monday, 14 May 2018

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 
County Louth

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



Irish Racecourses: Down Royal

Irish Racecourse: Down RoyalLocated near the city of Lisburn, Northern Ireland, is Down Royal Racecourse. 

Racing has taken place at Maze, near Lisburn, since the 18th Century on land donated by Arthur Hill - the 1st Marquis of Downshire. In truth, horse racing goes back to the days of King James II (1685) when the Royal Charter formed the Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders. King George II donated £100 to run the King's Plate. 

Although in the United Kingdom, horse racing at Down Royal comes under the jurisdiction of Horse Racing Ireland.   

Flat racing course:

Down Royal is almost a square right-handed galloping track of almost 2 miles. It features a downhill run in to the straight and a slight uphill finish to the line. Horses use a chute for the 5f races. No draw advantage.

National Hunt course:

Down Royal is almost a square right-handed galloping track of almost 2 miles. It features a downhill run in to the straight and a slight uphill finish to the line.There are ten fences (2 ditches) and and eight hurdles on the circuit. 

Major Flat races held at Down Royal include: Ulster Derby (June)

Ladies at Down Royal
Major National hunt races include: Champion Chase (November) 


Down Royal Racecourse is located two and a half miles from Lisburn and ten miles from Belfast. 

There is a bus service from Belfast. 

Belfast airport is under ten miles away. 

Contact details: 

Down Royal Racecourse 
County Antrim 
BT27 5RW 

Tel: 48 28 926 21256
Fax: 48 28 926 21433 




Saturday, 12 May 2018

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 
BT30 7EY

Tel: 48 446 12054
Fax: 48 448 42227 




Thursday, 10 May 2018

Irish Racecourses: Cork

Cork racecourse, Ireland
In the province of Munster, Cork is the largest southernmost county of Ireland. It is Ireland's second largest county with a population of over 500,000 people. 

Cork boarders four counties: Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary & Waterford. It contains the Golden Vale pastureland with West Cork one of the major tourist destinations, especially its rugged coastline and megalithic monuments. The county has mountain ranges, the highest point being Knockboy (706m) on the Shehy Mountains which border Kerry and accessed from Priest's Leap.      

Cork has an impressive coastline with beaches and sea cliffs and peninsulas including Beara, Sheep's Head, Mizen Head and Brow Head. The latter being the most southerly point of mainland Ireland. There are many islands off Cork coast including Fastness Rock which lies in the Atlantic Ocean about seven miles from the mainland.

Cork Racecourse Mallow - because it is held at Mallow, County Cork) stages both Flat and National Hunt racing fixtures. 

It is located just over 20 miles north of Cork and about 40 miles from Limerick. 

The first steeplechase - between to churches steeples, from Buttervant to Donerail - took place in 1752, down the road from Mallow. Cork Park was lost in 1917 but in 1924 racing at Cork commenced under the control of Lieutenant Colonel F F MacCabe. 

Following a £7 million refurbishment, the racecourse re-opened in 1997.

The three-day Easter Festival is the highlight of Cork Racecourses' sporting calendar.

Contact details:

Cork Racecourse (Mallow) Ltd

Beautiful walks in CorkTel: 353 22 50210/50207
Fax: 353 22 50213 

The racecourse is located 1 mile from Mallow town. Mallow is accessible by bus or train from Dublin. Stop at Cork for Mallow. Best get a taxi from Mallow Station to the racecourse. 

The nearest airport is Cork, which is 4 miles away from the course.  

Flat racing:

Cork is a right-handed level track with an inner course of 10 furlongs. The outer circuit is 12 furlongs. There is a draw advantage on sprints for high number. However, over 7f it pays to be dawn low. There is no real advantage over one mile although stall one seems to do well.  

National Hunt racing:  

Cork is a right-handed level track with an inner course of 10 furlongs. The outer circuit is 12 furlongs. There are eight jumps per circuit with three in the home straight. 




Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Irish Racecourses: Clonmel

Clonmel racecourse
Clonmel is the largest town in County Tipperary, Ireland. 

It name means ''honey meadow or honey vale'' most likely related to the richness of the soil in this fertile location. This town in the province of Munster has a rich history noted for its resistance against the Cromwellian army (1649 - 53). Oliver Cromwell led the forces of the English Parliament. 

The town lies on the northern bank of the River Suir, flowing from Tipperary to Waterford. It's source coming from Devil's Bit Mountain situated in the Comeragh Mountains.  

The Census of Clonmel in 2016 detailed a population of 17,140.     

St Mary's Church remains one of the architectural features of the town, built in the 14th century.  

The annual Clonmel Junction Festival (from the first weekend of July, lasting nine days) is very popular. It features several international acts.

Powerstown Park is the horse racing venue for Clonmel Racecourse, two miles from the town centre. Public transport via train is available to Clonmel station.

The nearest airport in under thirty miles away at Waterford. 

St Mary's Church, Clonmel

It hosts both Flat and National Hunt racing. Horse racing dates back to 1913. The course often has over 120 horses running at each meeting. 

It was refurbished in 1998. 

Flat Racing:

Clonmel is a right handed oval of 1 and a 1/4 miles with a run in of 2 and a 1/2 furlongs, with an uphill finish. 

National Hunt Racing:

Clonmel is a right handed oval of 1 and a 1/4 miles with a run in of 2 and a 1/2 furlongs, with an uphill finish. There are six hurdles and seven jumps on this circuit. 

Contact details: 

Clonmel Racecourse 
Davis Road 
County Tipperary

Tel: 353 52 72481
Fax: 353 52 26446



Irish Racecourses: Bellewstown

Happy punters at Bellewstown
Bellewstown is located 11km south of Droghena - on the Hill of Crockafotha in County Meath. This village is named after Darren Bellew who led the villagers to revolt against the infamous O'Shulleabhan clan in 1407. This location is resplendent, giving beautiful views of the Mountains of Mourne to the north and Irish sea to the east. 

They say if you breath deeply you can ''smell freshly mown hay and the taste of strawberries and cream''.

It has a rich horse racing heritage. 

Did you know in 1780, that mayor of Droghena, George Tandy, persuaded King George III to sponsor a race in Bellewstown? It was valued at £100 and called His Majesty's Plate. English monarchs continued to sponsor races until 1980, when Queen Elizabeth sadly discontinued the race.   

The first publication regarding horse racing in Bellewstown can be found in the Dublin Gazette and Weekly Courier in 1726. 

If you know about Bellewstown then the chances are that you have heard about the infamous betting scandal known as The Yellow Sam Betting Coup in 1975. It was linked with professional gambler Barney Curley.   
The racecourse holds two meetings a year: 3 days in the first week of July and 2 days in August. 

Flat course:

A sharp left handed oval over 9 furlongs with a 3 furlong - up hill - finish. A low draw has an advantage in sprints.

National Hunt:

A sharp left handed oval over 9 furlongs with a 3 furlong - up hill - finish. There are 5 hurdles on the circuit. 


The racecourse is just 23 miles from Dublin and 7 miles south of Drogheda. The Dublin airport is a similar distance. 

Contact details:

Bellewstown Racecourse 
9 Palace Street 
County Meath 

Tel: 353 41 984 2111
Fax: 353 41 984 7566