HORSESA GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
WHENEVER YOU ARE IN IRELAND YOU ARE NEVER FAR FROM A RACECOURSE.
26 RACECOURSES IN CITIES, TOWNS AND OPEN COUNTRYSIDE WELCOME
1.5 MILLION RACEGOERS THROUGH THEIR GATES EVERY YEAR.
Venue page Venue page Venue page
Ballinrobe 02 Galway 28 Navan 56
Bellewstown 04 Gowran Park 33 Punchestown 59
Clonmel 06 Kilbeggan 36 Roscommon 64
Cork 08 Killarney 38 Sligo 66
The Curragh 11 Laytown 40 Thurles 68
Down Royal 16 Leopardstown 42 Tipperary 70
Downpatrick 19 Limerick 47 Tramore 73
Dundalk 21 Listowel 50 Wexford 76
Fairyhouse 24 Naas 53
DISCLAIMER: EVERY CARE HAS BEEN TAKEN TO ENSURE ACCURACY IN THE COMPILATION FIXTURES AND PRICES ARE CORRECT AT TIME OF GOING TO PRINT. THEY MAY CHANGE
OF THIS GUIDE. HORSE RACING IRELAND CANNOT, HOWEVER, ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY OVER TIME AND RACE-GOERS SHOULD CHECK ALL INFORMATION BEFORE TRAVELLING TO
FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS BUT WHERE SUCH ARE BROUGHT TO OUR ATTENTION, A RACE MEETING. PUBLISHED IN FEBRUARY 2009.
FUTURE PUBLICATIONS WILL BE AMENDED ACCORDINGLY.
Horse Racing Ireland
HORSE RACING IN IRELAND IS A MAJOR RURAL INDUSTRY, A SIGNIFICANT
EMPLOYER AND CONTRIBUTOR TO THE EXCHEQUER, AND IS RECOGNISED
EVERYWHERE AS A WORLD LEADER.
THE HORSE IS NEAR THE TOP OF THE LIST OF ASSOCIATIONS WITH IRELAND
THAT PEOPLE NOMINATE WHEN ASKED, RIGHT UP THERE WITH MOUNTAINS,
LAKES, GUINNESS AND RAIN.
There are twenty six racecourses in Ireland - WHY? Horse Racing Ireland will assist you
more per head of population than any other country Without doubt it is the breadth of experiences with any aspect of planning a day at the races.
in the world. They say that it’s the people that make on offer that gives Irish racing such drawing power.
Please call our Marketing Department
the place and nowhere is that more true than at an From the large well-endowed tracks which hold
on 045 455681 (Int: +353 45 455681)
Irish racecourse where the people, above all else, the prestigious races and festivals to the smaller
or email firstname.lastname@example.org
create a sense of place and shared experience which "country" courses, dotted around the map where
makes up that most elusive quality - atmosphere. racing is conducted close to the way God (probably) Our website www.goracing.ie has a wealth of detail
intended, the measure of fun is the same. and information about all aspects of racing in Ireland.
We Irish have a special talent for horsemanship and
the heroes of our turf have carried the name of Irish Whether it is the unique one-day beach meeting Horse Racing Ireland... Let yourself Go!
racing to every corner of the world. at Laytown in September or one of the great festival
meetings, such as Punchestown or Galway, there is
The love and respect for horses and the people who
no better way to see and touch the "real Ireland" than
care for, train and ride them, runs deep. This is true
by spending a day at the races.
even in the cities, where links to the land are,
thankfully, still cherished. Just turn these pages to see where and when (and
how often) you can do just that, because wherever
While racing fans have a wealth of information and
you are in Ireland you are never far from a
entertainment available to them at home via
television, radio, newspapers and the internet, they
still turn out in great numbers (c. 1.5m annually) to
take in the live experience of racing.
COURSES FOR HORSES 01
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES LOUGH
(Gaelic: Baile an Rodhba. Meaning: The Town on the River Robe)
Contact: Course Info: NEALE
Tel: 094 954 1811 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
www.ballinroberacecourse.ie County: Mayo
AN INTIMATE PLACE SET IN A NATURAL AMPHITHEATRE WHERE THE ACTION
IS NEVER TOO FAR FROM VIEW - IT'S EVERYTHING A COUNTRY RACECOURSE
There are eight meetings a year at Ballinrobe,
seven of which are delightful Summer evening
Students & OAPs €8-10
Children under 14 Free
Books of pre-season tickets available
Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo.
Tel: 094 954 1811
02 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated 2 km from By Road: 50 km north By Rail: The closest station By Air: The closest airports
the town of Ballinrobe of Galway, 28 km south is Claremorris (21 km) from are Galway (56 km) and
in Co. Mayo. of Castlebar. where there is a bus service. Knock (48 km) with regular
flights from Dublin and
many locations in the U.K.
Helicopter landing can be
arranged at the course.
The course itself is a slightly elevated right-handed
oval of about one mile and one furlong which features
competitive flat and National Hunt (jump) racing.
BALLINROBE REVEALED CORPORATE FACILITIES QUICK FACTS ABOUT BALLINROBE
In keeping with the West of Ireland's reputation There is a new 160-seater restaurant at the course Race meetings have been trained by Michael Hourigan
for being a relaxed, friendly part of the world the which can serve 'silver service' 5-course meals and recorded in the area since he went on to win € 1 Million
racecourses of the West of Ireland reflect that also. is available to book for groups of 10 or more. Also, 1773. Racing has been held on on the track.
the current course since it
Race meetings in Ballinrobe are so relaxed one corporate marquee available. was purchased in 1921. Traverse, the horse
almost feels horizontal. Set before the picturesque owned by the irrepressible
vista of Lough Carra, an excursion to Ballinrobe will Dorans Pride, a former Hector O'hEochagain and star
APRÈS RACING Cheltenham Stayers Hurdle of the series "Only Fools Buy
soothe any modern-life travails you may have. You will There is a multitude of activities to occupy energetic winner and twice placed in Horses" also won his first
soon forget your boss's haranguing or the fume-ridden visitors to the area, for both indoor and outdoor types. the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Irish race at Ballinrobe in
traffic jam gauntlet you must run to get in and out of The area around Ballinrobe has been dubbed "The won his first race at 2003.
work every day. Lake Angling Capital of the West" with 60,000 acres Ballinrobe in 1993. Owned by
Mayo man Tom Doran and
An intimate place set in a natural amphitheatre where of brown trout fishing between Lough Corrib and
the action is never too far from view, it's everything Lough Mask and also fishing on the river Robe.
a country racecourse should be, and with eight There are scenic walkways in the area and regular Carney's Bar and Restaurant, Ballinrobe
meetings in the Summer (including seven evening traditional music and dancing in local pubs. There is Flannery's, Ballinrobe
meets) it is the ideal place to go to switch off and also an 18-hole championship golf course at nearby J J Gannon's Bar and Restaurant, Ballinrobe
unwind. Ballinrobe is a racecourse that you will return Cloonacastle House. Marina’s Restaurant
to again and again. Tí Bhurca Bar and Restaurant, Clonbur
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Ashford Castle Hotel (5-star) 094 954 6003 LOCAL PUBS
There are bars and a self-service restaurant on McWilliam Park Hotel 094 937 8000 Art O'Neills, Ballinrobe Costello’s Bar, Ballinrobe
course and also a fast food outlet. Ryan's Hotel 094 954 6243 Inch’s Bar, Ballinrobe O'Malley's, Ballinrobe
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 03
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES R167
(Gaelic: Slieve Baile na Gcailleach. Meaning: The Town of the Hags)
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 041 984 2111 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
www.bellewstownraces.ie County: Meath
WHAT'S RARE IS BEAUTIFUL AND IRISH RACEGOERS CERTAINLY SHOW THEIR
APPRECIATION OF THIS PRECIOUS JEWEL IN THE RACING CALENDAR BY TURNING
OUT IN DROVES FOR THE BELLEWSTOWN MEETINGS IN LATE JUNE/EARLY JULY
Two meetings a year, a 3-day festival in early
July and a 2-day meeting in mid-August. It's a
favourite course for many people and first-
time visitors will want to return again and
cherish the rare evenings spent there.
Students & OAPs €8
Children under 14 Image Free
Bellewstown, Co. Meath.
Race day number: 041 982 3614
Tel: 041 984 2111
Location How to get there
Situated just off the main By Road: 37 km north of By Rail: The nearest station By Bus: There is a special By Air: Dublin is the
Dublin to Belfast road (N1). Dublin, 11 km south of is Gormanstown and the bus service from Dublin nearest airport.
Follow the appropriate Drogheda. nearest main station is (Busaras). Tel. Bus Eireann
signs. Drogheda. 00 353 1 836 6111 for
departure times. There is
also a bus service from
The course is a one mile and one furlong, left handed
oval featuring flat and hurdle racing.
BELLEWSTOWN REVEALED DISABLED FACILITIES QUICK FACTS ABOUT BELLEWSTOWN
What's rare is beautiful and Irish racegoers certainly Designated car parking and toilet facilities. The first record of racing Madeira, the winner of
show their appreciation of this precious jewel in the at the course appeared in the the Irish Derby at the Curragh
racing calendar by turning out in droves for the August edition of the Dublin in 1868 (only the third
APRÈS RACING Gazette and Weekly Courier running of the race), then ran
Bellewstown meetings in late June/early July and Bellewstown is located in the heart of the Boyne in 1726. on consecutive days at
mid-August. River valley and as such the area offers excellent Bellewstown and was beaten
In 1780 George Tandy, the both days.
An evening spent there is a taste of something fishing opportunities. There are also several 18-hole mayor of Drogheda and
a little bit special, with racing in a beautiful, rustic, golf courses nearby and horseriding centres. The brother of the patriot Napper In recent times
rural setting on the Hill of Crockafotha boasting historic sites of Newgrange, Tara and Slane are also Tandy persuaded King George prominent horses to have run
magnificent views of the Mountains of Mourne close by. III to sponsor a race at at Bellewstown include:
Bellewstown. The race was Arkloin: dual Cheltenham
to the North and the Irish Sea to the East. Racing
called His Majesty's Plate and winner.
there epitomises summer sport, and is evocative LOCAL HOTELS was valued at £100, a large Bright Cherry: Dam of Arkle
of the smell of strawberries and cream and freshly Boyne Valley Hotel, Drogheda 041 9837737 sum back then. All the English Haltons Grace, triple
mown hay. It may be small in stature but it's big in Bracken Court Hotel, Balbriggan 041 8413333 monarchs sponsored a race at Champion Hurdle
heart and atmosphere and is a place where followers City North Hotel, Gormanstown 01-690-6666 the course until 1980. Lieberman: won Chenltham
of racing can fall in love with it again. Bumper
Conyngham Arms Hotel, Slane 041 9824155 In 1975 Peerless Punter Freebooter: won the grand
Glenside Hotel, Drogheda 041 9829185 Barney Curley pulled off a national in 1950
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Neptune Beach Hotel, Bettystown 041 9827107 mayor betting coup with
There is a self-service dining room, snack bar and a
number of bars. LOCAL RESTAURANTS LOCAL PUBS
Bacchus, Bettystown Bellewstown Inn, Bellewstown
CORPORATE FACILITIES Black Bull Inn, Drogheda Cock and Hen, Gormanstown
A separate corporate area can be provided by Forge, Collow McPhail's, Drogheda
arrangement. Monasterboice Inn, Drogheda Whytes, Stamullen
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 05
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
KILSHEELAN N24 WATERFORD
(Gaelic: Cluain Meala. Meaning: The Pasture of Honey)
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 052 61 72481 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
www.clonmelraces.ie County: Tipperary
CLONMEL IS AN IRISH RACECOURSE BLESSED WITH A SCENIC WOODED
SETTING WHICH GIVES IT THAT TOUCH OF CHARACTER THAT IS IMPOSSIBLE
TO CREATE ARTIFICIALLY.
There are 12 fixtures annually at Clonmel
including many Summer evening meetings
staging competitive flat and jump racing.
Students & OAPs €10
Children under 14 Free
Discount of 20% for pre-booked groups
of 20 or more people.
Clonmel Racecourse,Davis Road,
Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.
Tel: 052 61 72481
06 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How To Get There
Located 2 km from Clonmel By Road: It is 48 km north- By Bus: Clonmel bus station By Air: The airport in
Town centre on the west of Waterford, 38 km is a short walk or a shorter Waterford (52 km) is the
Waterford/Cork to Limerick south-east of Tipperary taxi ride from the closest to the course. Cork
road. Town, 80 km south-east of racecourse. (85 km) and Shannon (95
Limerick and 160 km south- km) are next closest.
west of Dublin, 85 km
North-east of Cork
The course is right-handed, undulating, with a stiff uphill
finish and is one mile and two furlongs in length.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT CLONMEL
Racing was conducted at being ripped off by rogue 3-
CLONMEL REVEALED REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Clonmel (Powerstown Park) card trick men because
since the early 19th century Jackson hired detectives to
Clonmel is an Irish racecourse blessed with There has been major refurbishment to our self-
and was free to spectators but root out such tricksters and
a scenic wooded setting which gives it that touch service restaurant, 2 bars and snack bars. in an era when racecourses pickpockets, it was like Wyatt
of character that is impossible to artificially create. were becoming commercial Earp coming to clean up the
In a wider setting it is nestled in the Suir river valley DISABLED FACILITIES entities its owner Villiers place. There are no such
between the Comeragh mountains to the south and Wheelchair Stand. Morton Jackson enclosed the nefarious activities going on
Slievenamon to the north, and is an equally charming park and charged the public 2 there now, just enthusiastic
shillings for their pleasure. people enjoying good racing
place to be in the dead of winter as in the heat CORPORATE FACILITIES in a fine setting.
of summer. Private catering can be arranged in our newly In return people had access to
a grandstand and were Course record crowd
It has been in the dead of winter that it has refurbished Supporters Club Bar. protected from having their is 5,900.
been most illuminated by some of the brighest stars pockets picked by thieves or
in jump racing because its winter showpiece event LOCAL HOTELS
in November, the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase, has Clonmel Arms Hotel, Clonmel 052 21 233
been contested and won by some great horses. Beef Hearns Hotel, Clonmel 052 21 611 LOCAL PUBS
Hotel Minella, Clonmel 052 22 388 Chawkes Bar Jerry Moynihan’s Bar
Or Salmon has been a regular competitor in the race
Careys Bar O’Keefes Bar
and was involved in one of its most epic renewals,
when he was just beaten by Edredon Bleu in 2003. LOCAL RESTAURANTS
The latter, who had previously been the Champion 2- Befani’s, Clonmel APRÈS RACING
mile chaser in Britain, won the King George Chase on Emerald Garden, Clonmel Places of interest include Coolmore Stud in Fethard,
his next outing, a demonstration of the quality of the La Scala, Clonmel Cahir Castle and the Rock of Cashel. There are several
event. But the horse that deserves special pride of Mulcahy's Bar/Restauant, Clonmel golf courses in the greater area.
place in the annals of this race is the gallant Dorans Mr Bumble, Clonmel
Pride, one of the great crowd-pullers of Irish racing in Sean Tierney's Bar/Restaurant, Clonmel OTHER FACILITIES
the last decade. He won the race an amazing 4 years The Emperor, Clonmel Clonmel hold schools after racing.
in a row, 1997-2000.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 07
MITCHELSTOWN & DUBLIN
MAP NEW TWOPOTHOUSE
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES KILLARNEY CASTLETOWNROCHE
N72 FERMOY & WATERFORD
(Gaelic: Mala. Meaning: The Plain of the Rock) RATHDUFF
Contact: Course Info: RATHDUFF
Tel: 022 50 207 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 1 CORK
www.corkracecourse.ie County: Cork
A FEW MILES DOWN THE ROAD FROM CORK RACECOURSE WAS THE SCENE
OF THE HISTORIC RACE WHICH GAVE THE WORLD THE PHRASE "STEEPLECHASING",
A DESCRIPTIVE TERM FOR A RACE OVER FENCES.
08 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated 1 mile from Mallow Shuttle Bus - there is a free By Road: 35 km north of Patrons coming from By Rail: Mallow railway
town on the Mallow- shuttle bus service to and Cork city. 64 km south of Dublin or Waterford station is served by trains
Killarney Road (N72). from Mallow town and Limerick city. Patrons direction (N72 and N73) take from Cork, Dublin, Tralee
Train Station for all race coming from Cork city or the town park bypass to and Killarney.
meetings. Limerick (N20) go under the reach the roundabout. The The racecourse is only a
railway bridge at the racecourse is on the left out short taxi ride away.
Contact the office on 022 the Killarney road.
roundabout in Mallow By Air: Cork airport is 44 km
50207 or check our website
town. from the course. Helicopter
pick up times. landing at the course can be
arranged in advance.
The new improved course is a right-handed, flat, oval
track of about one mile and four furlongs in length with
a six furlong sprint track.
There are 20 race meetings in Cork spanning
the full 12 months of the year. From the first
week in January to a mid December fixture
(which incidentally would be a perfect setting
for that pre-Christmas staff party) there is
a race meeting at Cork to suit your schedule
and taste. CORK REVEALED
Cork has the reputation of being the friendliest part of Ireland and those from the "People’s Republic of Cork",
There are a number of big money features
the status many of its denizens like to bestow on their home, like to embrace outsiders to their part of the
spread over the calendar including the Group 3
Kerry Group Noblesse Stakes (worth €100,000) world once you have a knowledge and appreciation of them and their county, of which they are very proud.
in June, the €70,000 Listed Give Thanks Stakes It is said (by Cork people mostly) of the legendary aphorism "Ireland, the land of 100,000 welcomes"
in August, The Grade C Paddy Power Cork that all but 236 of those welcomes come from County Cork.
Grand National Steeplechase in November and
The racecourse reflects this with a very informal homely feel to it which has not been compromised
the Grade 2 O’Connell Logistics Hilly Way
Steeplechase (worth €60,000) in December. by the recent modernisation. Racing at Cork is a mix of quality jump and flat racing with mixed cards taking
precedence in Summer and all jumps in Winter.
Students & OAPs €10 EASTER FESTIVAL
Children under 14 Free This Annual 3-day Easter Festival at Cork is as much a part of the Easter Season as getting an Easter Egg on
Easter Sunday morning. The 3-day festival is full of great racing, fabulous food, music and craic, with lots of
Cork Racecourse (Mallow) Ltd, activities for the little ones as well. It is a great time to dust off those winter cobwebs get out your favourite
Killarney Road, Mallow, Co. Cork. outfit and be part of it all.
Tel: 022 50 207
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 09
Organised racing in the Mallow racecourse closed has made it one of the best they organised a 4 1/2 mile after a visit to Cork races. It is
Mallow region goes back as temporarily in 1995 and after racecourses in southern race across country from the very fitting indeed because
far as 1777 when 6 consecutive a complete overhaul of the Ireland. steeple of the St John's Church Cork people are probably the
days racing was held under course and facilities with in Buttevant to that of St most enthusiastic supporters
the auspices of the King's investment from local A few miles down the Mary's in Doneraile. Blake and followers of jump racing
Plate Articles. When Cork Park business people and Horse road from Cork racecourse won the match and the bet, in Ireland and many of the
racecourse closed in 1917 it left Racing Ireland it opened to was the scene of the historic which was a cask of wine. best jump horses are bred in
a sporting void to be filled in huge crowds again May 1997. race which gave the world the Cork.
Ireland's largest county and phrase "steeplechasing", now In 2002 a re-enactment of
so in 1924 Mallow racecourse Cork racecourse has a descriptive term for a race the event was organised in
was formed. continued to upgrade their over fences. celebration of the two
facilities and track. They participants, attracting many
opened a brand new Pavilion In 1752 two sporting Cork amateur jockeys for the fun of
Stand in November 2008, gentlemen, Edmund Blake it. A bronze monument to
greatly adding to the facilities and Cornelius O'Callaghan, Blake and O'Callaghan stands
already provided. This along wanted to find out which of in the village of Buttevant
with the work on the track their horses was the better so and is worth a visit before or
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES parade ring. Downstairs contains a state of the art LOCAL HOTELS
There are five public bars in the racecourse. There are Paddy Power Betting Shop along with fast food and Longueville House Hotel 022 47 156
three in the Grand Stand and two in the new Pavilion bar facilities making facilities for the everyday punter The Charaville Park Hotel 063 81 600
Stand. There is also a carvery restaurant, a hot roast as comfortable as possible. The Hibernian Hotel 022 21 588
beef and snack stand and a fast food restaurant. Springfort Hall Hotel 022 21 278
CORPORATE & RESTAURANT FACILITIES Cork is a wheelchair friendly course with access to all LOCAL RESTAURANTS
The main restaurant is situated on the top floor of the areas for disabled people plus a designated disabled Gallery Bar & Restaurant 022 20 760
impressive 3-storey Grandstand overlooking the track viewing area on the rails. The Arches Bar & Restaurant 022 42 680
and winning post. With an extensive menu and full bar The White Deer Restaurant 022 57 337
and Tote facilities it can cater for groups of 2 to 300. The APRÈS RACING The Wild Goose 022 21 934
Grandstand also has 6 corporate hospitality suites, each The Blackwater River, upon whose banks the
of which has its own balcony overlooking the racetrack racecourse is situated is a renowned salmon fishing LOCAL PUBS
and winning post. These can cater for 15-25 people and river and there are many local fishing clubs that will Alberts Market Square
are equipped with CCTV, bar and Tote facilities. organise fishing expeditions and provide Maureens Mallow Town
The New Pavilion Stand opened on November 2nd accommodation for visitors. The above mentioned The Arches
2008 offers the ideal location for a corporate day out. steeplechase plaque in Buttevant is worth seeing. The Gallery
It can seat up to 200 people in very sumptuous There are also many opportunities for golf, pony
surroundings with a viewing balcony offering trekking and also archaeological sites of interest
unrivalled views of the race track, betting ring and including Mallow Castle.
10 COURSES FOR HORSES
MAP PROSPEROUS R403
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
(Gaelic: An Currach. Meaning: The Racecourse)
Contact: Course Info: MONASTEREVIN
Tel. 045 441 205/441 105 Flat / Premier Track
www.curragh.ie County: Kildare CORK
THE CURRAGH IS THE HOME OF IRISH FLAT RACING AND THE LARGEST HORSE
TRAINING CENTRE IN THE COUNTRY. IT IS NAMED IN EARLY MANUSCRIPTS
AS A MEETING PLACE OF CELTIC KINGS AND CHIEFTANS.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 11
Location How to get there
Situated on the Curragh By Road: 50km south-west By Rail: A regular By Bus: A special bus leaves By Air: 25 miles from
plains, 3 km from the town of Dublin City on the main service from Dublin Busaras (Dublin Central Bus Dublin Airport and 16 miles
of Newbridge in Co. Kildare Dublin – Cork/Limerick Heuston, Waterford, Cork Station) for the Curragh on from Baldonnell.
and less than an hour from road. Take the N7 Limerick and Galway stops race days and leaves 30 There is also a helipad
Dublin. southbound and exit in Kildare Town with a minutes after the last race. behind the main
at junction 12. complimentary shuttle bus Grandstand.
to the racecourse. **Admission is half price
when showing your train
or bus ticket for all race
days (excluding Derby Day).
The Curragh is a right-handed, undulating,
horseshoe-shaped course two miles (3200M) in length
with an adjoining chute feeding into the home
straight which stages races of up to one mile.
There are 19 race days annually at the Curragh,
from mid-March to mid-October. The 2-day
Boylesports.com Guineas Festival in May, the Irish
Derby Festival featuring the Dubai Duty Free Irish
Derby, Darley Irish Oaks weekend and Autumn
Festival featuring The Irish Field St Leger.
Students and OAPs Half-price
THE CURRAGH REVEALED all day. The occasion is impervious to weather
For those who enjoy seeing the best racehorses conditions and there is always that essential feel-
(except Dubai Duty Free Derby Day)
Accompanied children under 15 Free and horsemen in the world doing what they do best good factor which cannot be induced artificially at
(except Dubai Duty Free Derby Day) on a glorious stage then a visit to the Curragh is a an occasion - it's either there or it's not and Irish
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day €40 must. This racecourse, steeped in tradition, is where Derby Day has got it in abundance.
Classic and Group 1 days €20 the Five Classic races are held: Dubai Duty Free Irish
Setting The Scene
Family packages Derby; The Darley Irish Oaks; The boylesports.com
"And straight I will repair
on Classic / Group 1 / Goffs Million Day €35 1000 Guineas; The boylesports.com 2000 Guineas
To the Curragh of Kildare
on all other days €25 and Irish Field St Leger in addition to many more
For it's there I'll find tidings of my dear"
Not available on Derby Day great races.
is the melodic precursor to the race itself and
Premier Level Access and Premier Level Seats are All season long, from the first meeting in March to
available to purchase. the crowd sings along to the song of Kildare as the
the conclusion of the flat racing season in October the
runners make their way down to the starting stalls.
Curragh Membership includes admission to all Curragh holds centre stage in Irish racing. All the best
There is a buzz of expectancy like for no other race
race days, preferential bar and car parking flat horses run there each year following the pantheon
in the calendar. This is wildly exciting and not just
facilities and admission to over 70 reciprocal of former great horses that have tread the same
race days at other Irish and international because it's a great spectacle but also because of
famous turf. The jewel in this racing crown is the
racecourses. the meaning and resonance of the race.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby which is usually run on
20% discount off membership and admission the last Sunday in June. The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby often decides which
when booking at www.curragh.ie is the best 3-year-old colt in Europe as it performs
Annual memberships are available which IRISH DERBY = IRISH PARTY the role of a junction of sorts, attracting horses that
include entry to all race meetings,preferential Make no mistake this is the biggest party of the year ran in the big races earlier in the year and getting
bar and car park facilities. at an Irish racecourse and is not to be missed, where them to face each other in a dramatic showdown. It is
the beautiful people dress-up, turn-out and party-on truly a major world event in horseracing. It features
Book online @ www.curragh.ie
12 COURSES FOR HORSES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE CURRAGH
It is mentioned in the The first official racing The Curragh is also The biggest attendance
earliest Irish manuscripts to take place at the Curragh the largest horse training at the Curragh was 31,136 at
as a meeting place of the was in 1741. In the 1760's a centre in Ireland and boasts the Budweiser Irish Derby
Celtic Kings where much Jockeys' Club was set up in extensive facilities on it's in 2003.
sporting activity, including a coffee house in Kildare grounds. The surrounding
horseracing, took place. town which evolved into area is home to thousands
the present day regulatory of racehorses in training
body, The Turf Club in 1790. yards and stud farms.
some of the finest racehorses in the world when a magnificent horse at his best crushes his ill-fated Shergar. Trained in England by Sir Michael
(collectively worth millions of Euro) owned, trained rivals in an imperious display. The Aidan O'Brien- Stoute and owned by the Aga Khan he never came
and ridden by masters of their professions, competing trained champions Galileo (2001) and High out of third gear in cruising to victory under Lester
for a prize of 1.5 million euro. This matters. Chaparral (2002) followed up their Epsom Derby Piggott in 1981. With his big white face and neat,
triumphs with effortless romps at the Curragh, while handsome frame carrying the master jockey it made
PARADE OF CHAMPIONS last year (2008) he became the first trainer to win for a seamless bio-mechanical marriage of perfection.
The crowd at the Curragh appreciates nothing better the race on 3 consecutive occasions on Frozen Fire Truly a sight to behold.
than a champion but even more so when it is won by followed in the footsteps of stable companions
And that image encapsulates what the Irish Derby
an Irish horse ridden by an Irish jockey and trained by Dylan Thomas and Soldier of Fortune, who took this
is all about - aesthetics: that of the crowd itself and
an Irish trainer. Irish trainers Dermot Weld, John Oxx, prestigious event in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
their appreciative response to the expression of it
Aidan O'Brien and Jim Bolger have provided staunch Back in 2000 the John Oxx-trained Sinndar
on the course.
defence of the prize in recent years (Irish trainers won demolished his field by 9 lengths and picked up a
every year (bar one) from 2000-2008). Home-trained one-off $1 Million Millennium Bonus for having also
won the English Derby. Back in 1992 St Jovite, CONTACT
winners always add an extra dimension to the post-
trained by Jim Bolger, destroyed the opposition by Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare.
race celebrations. Witness Grey Swallow's battling
12 lengths in a record-breaking time with a truly Tel. 045 441 205/441 105 - E-mail: email@example.com
win in 2004 against English Derby winner North Light
that whipped the Curragh crowd into a frenzy as did awesome display of raw, unstoppable power that
Alamshar's titanic winning battle up the straight with left everyone gasping at a memorably dry, sun-
French champion Dalakhani a year earlier in front of a baked Curragh.
SHERGAR: POETRY IN MOTION
However, there doesn't have to be a close finish
Probably the best, and certainly the most famous
to make for an exciting race. Sometimes it is just as
winner of recent times was the outstanding but
thrilling to witness the crowning of a champion
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 13
First Running: The Distance: The race Most successful
first Irish Derby was run was run over 1 /4 miles owners: His Highness
in 1866 and only three until 1872 when the The Aga Khan (born
horses ran. Selim beat distance was changed 1878, died 1957) and his
even-money favourite to it's current 1 /2 miles. grandson, the current
Tom King by three Aga Khan, jointly hold
lengths. Largest field: the record of winners,
24 runners, in 1962. with five each.
Smallest Field: Fastest Time: St
Only 2 turned up in Jovite's time of two
1868. minutes 25.6 seconds
DID YOU KNOW?
is officially the fastest
time for the Derby
although the accuracy
of it is disputed.
However, even allowing
for a one second error
DERBY DAY FACTS it is still the fastest time
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES The Champagne Bar and Bistro, beside the Parade CORPORATE FACILITIES
Ring serves an excellent selection of fine cuisine, There is a huge variety of hospitality choices for
BARS: and of course the finest bottles of Bollinger. clients wishing to make a splash with customers,
There are five public bars in the racecourse. staff or family and friends, from private intimate
Silks Self Service restaurant located in the Tote Hall
The Tote Hall Bar, Vintage Crop and Horace Pinks Bar suites to gatherings of 300 guests or more in the
is open from noon and serves a selection of hot meals
are located under the West End Stands near the hospitality pavilion. The suites range in size from
bookmakers ring. the flagship Derby Club Room with a capacity of 200
Dan Donnelly's Diner in the West End Stand serves guests down to some of the Premier level suites with
The Curragh View and Horseshoe Bar (with live race quality fast food and baguettes on major race days. a cosy capacity of 10. Facilities for all of the above
day music) on the first floor of the Grandstand have are, as one would expect, first class. The Image Derby
clear views of the course. There are also many more sandwich bars and snack
Pavilion is a temporary structure located on the inside
outlets on the course.
The Balcony Bar and Café on the Premier level of of the track on Derby weekend offering VIP treatment
the grandstand serves a variety of hot and cold drinks All inclusive restaurant packages are available and access to the Parade Ring and Reserved
and quality snacks. which include admission race cards and lunch. Enclosure. Tables of 10 and 12 can be booked for
These can be booked by calling the Curragh Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day.
racecourse on 045 441205.
RESTAURANTS AND FOOD OUTLETS:
The Horseshoe restaurant is one of the finest dining
experiences in Irish racing. All - inclusive restaurant
packages are available which include admission, race
cards and lunch. These can be booked by calling the
Curragh racecourse on 045 441205.
14 COURSES FOR HORSES
Longest Priced (1977), Shirley Heights Record of French
Winner: Zarathustra (1978), Troy (1979), Derby Winners: Four
at 50-1 in 1954. He had Shergar (1981), winners of the French
finished unplaced in Shahrastani (1986), Derby have won the
the Gallinule Stakes Kahyasi (1988), Irish Derby, namely;
and only fifth in the Generous (1991), Assert (1982), Old Vic
Irish 2000 Guineas, Commander In Chief (1989), Dream Well
hence his long price. (1993), Sinndar (2000), (1998) and Montjeu
Galileo (2001), High (1999). Nine others
Shortest priced Chaparral (2002). failed to complete the
winner: Orby (which double; Caerleon (1983),
had previously won the 10 Epsom Derby Suave Dancer (1991),
English Derby) started winners have failed Hernando (1993) and
at 1-10 in 1907. to complete the double. Dalakhani (2003)
Charlottown (1966), finished 2nd in their
Record of English Sir Ivor (1968), Empery
Derby Winners: attempts.
(1976), Dr Devious (1992)
Orby was also the first and North Light (2004) Caracolero (1974),
winner of the English all finished 2nd. Mouktar (1985),
Derby to run in (and Teenoso (1983) was 3rd, Hours After (1988),
win) the Irish Blakeney (1969) and Celtic Swing (1995) and
equivalent. 14 others Larkspur (1962) were Holding Court (2000)
have achieved this 4th while Roberto (1972) all finished unplaced.
illustrious double since. and Quest For Fame
Santa Claus (1964), (1990) were unplaced.
Nijinsky (1970), Grundy
(1975), The Minstrel
OTHER FACILITIES LOCAL HOTELS LOCAL PUBS
At the west end of the stand there is a quality outdoor Barberstown Castle, Straffan 01 628 8157 Aubrey Brabazon Bar, The Stand House Hotel, Curragh
playground for children together with a picnic area. Curragh Lodge Hotel, Kildare 045 522 144 Bardons, Kilcullen
There is a gift shop in the Tote Hall carrying a range Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge 045 431 666 Cunninghams, Kildare
of Curragh merchandise. For disabled customers Killashee House Hotel, Naas 045 879 277 Harrigans, Newbridge
there is a special viewing area beside the Parade Kildare Hotel and Country Club, Straffan 01 601 7200 Mooneys, Monasterevin
Ring, just past the winning post. All areas of the Maudlins House Hotel, Naas 045 896 999 Swifts, Newbridge
course are wheelchair accesible. There is an on- Osprey Hotel Naas 045 883 910 The Liffey Arms, Newbridge
course Ladbrokes betting shop and a big screen at all Stand House Hotel, Curragh 045 436 177 The Hideout, Kilcullen
fixtures for enhanced viewing quality. Whitewater Bar, Newbridge
The planned redevelopment of the Curragh LOCAL RESTAURANTS
Racecourse has been postponed and will be reviewed Dunne and Crescenzi, Kildare Village APRÈS RACING
on an ongoing basis. Fallons, Kilcullen The Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens in
Hangman’s Arch, Miltown Kildare is a must see. In the surrounding area of the
The entire development was sparked off by His Jardin Royale, Newbridge Curragh there are many opportunities for playing golf,
Highness, the Aga Khan, with his generous gift of the Pauls, Kilcullen fishing, horse riding and shopping at the Kildare
Stand House Hotel to the Turf Club. The development Silken Thomas, Kildare Town Village Outlet shopping mall.
is being financed by the Aga Khan’s gift; by the Turf The Granary, Newbridge
Club itself; by sponsorship from the racing industry
and a grant from Horse Racing Ireland.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 15
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES LOUGH
NEAGH 0 B38
(Gaelic: An Dún. Meaning: The Fort) AGHALEE
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 028 926 21 256 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 1
www.downroyal.com County: Down
IT IS ENTIRELY APPROPRIATE THAT DOWN ROYAL SHOULD HOLD SUCH A HIGH CLASS
JUMP RACING MEET BECAUSE NORTHERN IRELAND IS FAMED FOR ITS BREEDING
ACADEMIES IN THAT SPHERE.
16 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How To Get There
Down Royal is located 4 km By Road: 16 km south of By Rail: The nearest railway By Air: Two airports
from the town of Lisburn, Belfast City just off the A1, station is Lisburn with a in Belfast, Belfast
Co. Down. which is the main Belfast- regular service from Belfast. International and Belfast
Dublin road. City.
Down Royal is a right-handed, undulating course of one mile
and seven furlongs in length with an uphill finish.
FIXTURES DOWN ROYAL REVEALED FESTIVAL OF RACING
There are 12 meetings annually at Down Royal Racing at Down Royal has a long and interesting It is entirely appropriate that Down Royal should hold
including 2 festivals, the 3-day Ulster Derby history to it (see below) but what is of even more such a high class jump racing meet because Northern
meeting at the high point of Summer in mid- interest is the range of first-class racing it has been Ireland is famed for its breeding academies in that
June and the Festival of Racing in early
staging in more recent times. This has been attracting sphere. Also, the locals love their racing and this
the best horses around, promoting strong betting enthusiasm rubs off on the many visitors from Britain
ADMISSION markets, bumper crowds and a fantastic, lively and the rest of Ireland. The showpiece of the 2-day
Adults £10-15 atmosphere. festival is the J N Wine Merchant Chase which has
Students & OAPs Concessions attracted horses of the calibre of See More Business,
Children Under 12 Free This isn't happening by accident because you can't
Looks Like Trouble, Florida Pearl, Beef or Salmon,
CONTACTS have one without the other - good races attract good
Kicking King, Kauto Star, War of Attrition to the track.
Down Royal Racecourse, Maze, Lisburn, horses and good facilities attract big crowds and the
Co. Down BT27 5RW. investment in both in recent times has paid dividends. The 2-day meeting was only initiated in 1999
The €75,000 Specsavers Ulster Derby is the but has, like one of the sponsor's fine imports,
Tel: R.O.I: 048 926 21 256/ N.I: 028 926 21 256
highlight of the popular 3-day Summer Festival and got better with time. It is by no means, a one-race
Email:firstname.lastname@example.org the Northern Ireland Festival of Racing in early meeting, however, the Killultagh Properties Chase and
Website: www.downroyal.com November is a showcase for the cream of National Anglo Irish Bank Hurdle, provide solid back-up to an
Hunt (jump) racing. event that's very much on the up.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 17
QUICK FACTS ABOUT DOWN ROYAL
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Down Royal Corporation In 1750 King George II
The modern facilities include fast food counters, of Horse Breeders was donated £100 to run a King's
founded in 1685 by Royal Plate and to the present day
self-service restaurant, bars and a cafe. On festival Charter from King James II to a Royal Plate has been held at
days there are additional bars and food outlets. encourage horse breeding in the course contributed to by
the area. The original racing the Privy Purse.
took place at Downpatrick
CORPORATE FACILITIES Media Puzzle, winner of
but the association moved to
The VIP Suite on the first floor of the grandstand the present course in 1789. the 2002 Melbourne Cup had
can accommodate up to 130 guests in tables of 10. previously won the Ulster
Private marquees can also be provided for between Derby.
50 and 1,500 people. Facilities in both cases include
CCTV, private Tote betting, private bar and of course
quality food and service. There are also a number of
private boxes available.
Ballymac Hotel, Stoneyford 02892 684 313
Beechlawn Hotel, Dunmurray 02890 612 974
Hillside Restaurant, Hillsborough
The Plough, Hillsborough
The Racecourse Inn, Maze
The Tidi Doffer, Ravernet
Clenaghan's Bar/Restaurant, Lisburn
Quincy's Bar/Restaurant, Lisburn
The Down Royal Inn, Lisburn
Treasure Inn, Lisburn
Local places of interest are Irish Linen Centre,
Lisburn Museum and the beautiful Georgian village
of Hillsborough nearby.
18 COURSES FOR HORSES
THE SPA B2
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES LOUGHINISLAND
(Gaelic: Dun Padraig. Meaning: The Fort of Patrick) ANNSBOROUGH
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 028 44 612 054 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2 DUBLIN
www.downpatrickracecourse.co.uk County: Down
DOWNPATRICK HAS THE REPUTATION OF BEING ONE OF THE FRIENDLIEST
RACECOURSES IN IRELAND AND IT IS SITUATED IN THE STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL
COUNTY OF DOWN.
Students & OAPs £5
Children Under 14 Free
There are 9 individual fixtures annually
at the course from February until December
including some attractive Friday evening
Summer meetings. Image
Downpatrick Racecourse, Ballydugan Road,
Downpatrick, Co. Down BT30 7SP.
Tel: R.O.I: 028 44 612 054
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 19
Location How To Get There
Situated 2 km from the By Road: 35 km south of By Rail: High-speed trains By Bus: The course is 1 km By Air: The closest airports
centre of Downpatrick Belfast City on the A2. From run from Belfast to Dublin, from the main bus station. are Belfast City and Belfast
in Co. Down. the South take the N1 from stopping at Station (45 mins International.
Dublin to Newry and from from racecourse).
there the A1 to Lisburn.
The course is right-handed, undulating of one mile
and two furlongs in length with an uphill finish.
DOWNPATRICK REVEALED LOCAL HOTELS QUICK FACTS ABOUT DOWNPATRICK
Downpatrick has the reputation of being one of the Burrendale Hotel and Country Club,
As well as being one More recently, famous
friendliest racecourses in Ireland and it is situated in Newcastle 028 44 722 599 of the friendliest courses in horses which started their
the stunningly beautiful county of Down. It is strongly Denvirs Hotel, Downpatrick 028 44 612 012 Ireland it is also the oldest careers there include English
supported by the local community and race meetings because racing started here and Irish Grand National
there are intimate, cosy affairs with exciting flat and in 1685 and, apart from winner Rhyme n' Reason
LOCAL RESTAURANTS occasional disruptions and Cheltenham winners
jump racing on offer. The course has recently been Justines, Downpatrick has continued since. Tourist Attraction and
modernised with the completion of a new grandstand Sparky Gayle.
which can accommodate 1,500 spectators. The Probably the most
highlight of the year at the course is the Powers LOCAL PUBS famous horse to run at the
Whisky Ulster National run in late February over Hogans, Downpatrick course was the Byerley Turk,
one of the founding fathers
31/2 miles and which is always an exciting affair. of the Thoroughbred breed,
APRÈS RACING which ran there in 1690
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES There are lots of opportunities for fishing and golfing en route to the Battle of
Snack bar and 3 public bars in the stand. enthusiasts to indulge themselves after racing. the Boyne.
There are also lots of sites of archaeological interest
in the area.
There are private boxes available at the course and For more details visit www.kingdomofdown.com
corporate lunches can be organised in the top-of-the-
range marquees. Packages include Tote betting
facilities, 4-course lunch and a private bar.
20 COURSES FOR HORSES
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
JENKINSTOWN 75 BOHARBOY
(Gaelic: Dun Dealgan. Meaning: It takes its name from Dun Dealgan, Dalga’s Fort,
a home closely associated with the famous mythical warrior Cu Chulainn) BLACKROCK
Contact: Course Info:
tel: 042 933 4438 10 furlong polytrack R166
www.dunkalkstadium.com all-weather floodlit flat
DUNDALK IS IRELAND’S FIRST FLOODLIT ALL-WEATHER RACECOURSE
AND WAS OPENED IN AUGUST 2007.
1 - Turnstile Entrance 5 - Champion’s Restaurant 9 - Parade Ring 13 - First Aid
2 - Silks Bar and Carvery 6 - ATM machine 10 - Bookies Square 14 - Racing Press
3 - Sprinter’s Bar 7 - Mullen’s Traditional Fast Food 11 - Weigh Room & Stewards Room 15 - Public Toilets
4 - Gallop’s Bar 8 - Meeting Point 12 - Reception / Courtesy Desk
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 21
Location How to get there
Situated approximately By Road: Situated By Rail: Dundalk is By Air: Dundalk is 40
1km from Dundalk town approximately 1km from located midway on the minutes from Dublin
centre on the north side. Dundalk town centre on Dublin-Belfast Intercity line, International Airport
the north side. serviced by the ‘Enterprise,’ and an hour from
a high speed rail network, Belfast International
which provides access to and Belfast City Airports.
Dublin and Belfast city
centres in one hour.
The race track is a left handed, floodlit, 10
furlong polytrack with a 5 furlong chute.
FIXTURES FACILITIES and racecourse caterers put an emphasis on
There are 26 fixtures at Dundalk. These are
Dundalk Stadium presents the most modern seasonal local produce. Panoramic views of the
Friday evening meetings throughout Winter
and Spring and 20 are floodlit. entertainment facility in the North East. This €35m racing circuit complement the ultimate dining
facilitiy incorporates all the elements of a night time experience where patrons can choose from
Greyhound racing takes place every week experience combined with the thrill and excitement of an extensive range of food and wines. Diners can
throughout the year. also enjoy a dedicated tote and bar service, without
live racing. Choose from the luxurious surroundings
ADMISSION PRICES of Champion’s 400 seat restaurant, where you’ll enjoy having to leave the comfort of their tables.
Adult €15 panoramic views of the race track, to the culinary
OAPs €10 delights of Silk’s carvery and Mullen’s traditional fast APRÈS RACING
food. Whatever you choose, there is something for One can enjoy an eight race programme of greyhound
everyone at Dundalk Stadium. racing on Friday evenings after the last horse race
(Upon production of a valid ID card)
followed by music in Gallop’s Bar to 12:30am.
Under 14's Free
HOSPITALITY SUITES Dundalk Stadium – For a night with a difference.
(Once accompanied by an adult)
There are four private suites, which combine privacy
CONTACT DETAILS For further details visit: www.dundalkstadium.com
along with the full excitement and atmosphere of
Dundalk Stadium, Racecourse Road, Dundalk, racing. The suites overlook the restaurant and each Dundalk is in the county town of Louth. This busy
has an exceptional view of the racetrack. They offer manufacturing centre is a great base for pursuing a range
Tel: +353 (42) 9334438 full formal dining with extensive choices in food and of activities including nature walks, salmon and trout
Email:email@example.com wine. Each suite has its own private bar, an at-the- fishing, golf and horse riding. Dundalk has good nightlife
table tote betting service and race viewing screens. and a greyhound track, and is home town of one of the
Web:www.dundalkstadium.com most successful rock bands of the nineties - The Corrs.
CHAMPIONS RESTAURANT For more details visit: www.countylouth.com or
This restaurant features an excellent dining www.louthholidays.com
establishment on the upper level of the stadium
22 COURSES FOR HORSES
Ballymascanlon House Hotel,
Dundalk 042 935 8200
Crowne Plaza Dundalk 042 933 5453
Park Inn Hotel, Carnbeg, Dundalk 042 938 6770
The Fairways Hotel & Conference
Centre, Dundalk 042 932 1500
Carlingford Adventure Centre 042 937 3100
Dundalk Ice Dome 042 965 0415
JJB Soccer Dome 042 939 1300
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 23
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
(Gaelic: Tigh na Siog. Meaning: The House of the Fairies) GALWAY
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 01 825 6167 National Hunt & Flat /
www.fairyhouseracecourse.ie Premier Track
County: Meath R4
FAIRYHOUSE IS THE VENUE FOR MANY OF THE BIGGEST RACES OF THE IRISH
JUMP SEASON, WITH THE CROWNING GLORY COMING ON EASTER MONDAY
WHEN THE HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS REACH FEVER PITCH FOR THE RUNNING
OF THE POWERS GOLD LABEL IRISH GRAND NATIONAL.
24 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated north-west of By Road: Only 23 km from By Rail: Heuston Station, By Bus: Bus Eireann By Air: Dublin airport
Dublin near the village of Dublin city centre, just off Dublin is the nearest provides a special bus is 19 km away and the
Ratoath in Co. Meath. the N3 or the N2 via station. service from the Central Bus N3 is reached via
Ratoath. Station (Busaras) on race Blanchardstown bypass.
days. Contact Dublin Bus on Helicopter landing at the
+353 (0)1 836 6111 for course can be arranged in
The course itself is right-handed, relatively flat
and is one mile and six furlongs in length.
FIXTURES FAIRYHOUSE REVEALED racing, it is one of the biggest events in Irish sport.
There are 22 fixtures at Fairyhouse annually Fairyhouse is the venue for many of the biggest races It is also a most exciting, enjoyable way to spend this
including the Easter Festival, several glorious of the Irish jump season, with the crowning glory holiday time. Above all it's the people’s race.
Summer Evening meetings featuring live coming on Easter Monday when the holiday
music and BBQ’s followed by a winter
celebrations reach fever pitch for the running of the DAYS LIKE THESE
of content with some of the best jump racing
Powers Whiskey Irish Grand National. This is without There have been some truly memorable Grand
action in the country. If you are a follower
of great racing then follow the roads to doubt one of the biggest days in the Irish racing National days over the years and here are just a
Fairyhouse. calendar and is the main course on a 3-day Easter few to remember:
menu of appetising racing which begins on
the Sunday and ends on the Tuesday. The big race The great English Champion Desert Orchid winning
ADMISSION PRICES in 1990 under 12 stone. This grey 11-year-old warrior
Adult €15-30 itself is complemented by numerous other top-class
races including the Grade 1 Powers Gold Cup on was one of the most celebrated horses in recent
Students and OAP’s €10 (€15 on Easter
the Tuesday. times and received a huge cheer on returning to
Children under 14 Free the winner's enclosure.
The Grand National is the most valuable handicap
20% Online discount for adult admission. jump race run in Ireland with a prize-fund of Commanche Court winning in 2000 for the immensely
€250,000. It is a thrilling roller-coaster event over popular Ted Walsh and ridden by his son Ruby which
20% Discount for groups of 20 or more people.
35/8 miles and 24 fences. It's a true test of horse and made it a great family affair.
rider and the combination that comes home in front Two years previously another famous Irish racing
Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Co. Meath.
after that journey deserves the big cheer it gets from family had an equally memorable day. Jockey Paul
the 20,000 plus crowd. All the participants are heroes Carberry triumphed on Bobbyjo which was trained
Tel: 01 825 6167 and are rightly celebrated but the winning horse and by his father Tommy just down the road in Ashbourne.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org jockey deserve to be lauded to a height and they are. The celebrations went on and on…
Not only is it one of the signature races in Irish
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 25
The first running of From 1960-66 the Grand National The longest priced
the Grand National was legendary trainer Tom Heavyweights: The winners in recent years
in 1870. The winner was Dreaper trained the following horses won have been Granit
a grey gelding called Sir winner a remarkable 7 the Grand National d'Estruval (2004) and
Robert Peel, and the years in a row during a with top weight of 12 Bentom Boy (1984) who
prizemoney was 167 golden era for the race. Stone weight or more both started at 33/1.
sovereigns. His winners were: in the last 50 years and
deserve to be celebrated The shortest priced
The winner of the Olympia-1960 for such a heroic feat: winner was Arkle (The
1929 renewal was Alike, Greatest) at 1/2 in 1964.
who was owned and Fortria-1961 Flashing Steel
ridden by 5' 4" Frank (12-0)-1995
Wise who was missing
three fingers and had a Last Link-1963 Desert Orchid
wooden leg. (12-0)-1990
The 1995 winner Browne Lad
Flashing Steel was
owned by former
Flyingbolt-1966 Brown Lad
Haughey and trained by Just as remarkably the
his son-in-law John legendary Irish stallion Flyingbolt
Mulhern. Fortina, who stood in (12-7)-1966
Co. Cork sired 4 of
Dreaper's winners: Arkle
Olympia, Fortria, Last (12-0)-1964
Link and Splash. Fortria
BEST OF THE BESTS REFRESHMENT FACILITIES OTHER FACILITIES
But Fairyhouse is not just all about the Grand National The Bobbyjo Bistro in the Powers Gold Label Stand All areas of the stands are wheelchair accessible via
Meeting. There is more than one pearl in its oyster. offers superb views of the racecourse and parade lifts where there are a number of designated disabled
In late November/early December the course hosts ring/winners enclosure. It offers a four-course silver viewing areas. There are also disabled toilet facilities
a weekend meeting that is one of the highlights of service lunch and has its own Tote and full bar and ample car parking spaces.
the Winter and the Sunday card features a trio of facilities.
Grade 1 races that are as good as the game can APRÈS RACING
There is also a self-service restaurant, several fast
get and the list of past winners proves it. Fairyhouse is close to the historic sites of Newgrange,
food outlets and a choice of bars.
The Bar One Racing Hattons Grace Hurdle has been Tara and Slane with plenty of opportunities for fishing
won by Istabraq twice, Limestone Lad three times. and golfing.
Dorans Pride, Danoli, Solerina. This is more like a The Arkle Room with a capacity of 200 is ideal
list of the best Irish hurdle horses of the last decade. for company outings and social events. Situated LOCAL HOTELS
on the first floor of the Jameson Stand, it has an Ashbourne Court Hotel 01-835-9300
The Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase has been excellent view of the parade ring and easy access to Ashbourne House Hotel 01-835-8400
won by such as Watson Lake, Alexander Banquet and the viewing stand. The Jameson Stand Suites, on the Ardboyne Hotel, Navan 046 9023119
Harbour Pilot. top level of the Jameson Stand, provide an excellent Ashbourne Marriott Hotel, Ashbourne 01-835-6800
The Bar One Racing Royal Bond Novice Hurdle has view of the racecourse and can cater for 12 for a Castle Arch Hotel, Trim 046 9431516
been won in recent years by Istabraq, Moscow Flyer, silver service meal and 20 for a buffet. On the top Duffys of Ballybin, Ashbourne 087 6982495
Like a Butterfly, Hardy Eustace. level of the Powers Gold Label Stand are suites that Dunsany Lodge, Dunsany 046 9026339
can accommodate 30 for a silver service meal or 40 The Bellinter House, Navan 046 9030900
That's what Fairyhouse is all about. for a buffet and also provide excellent views of the The Dunboyne Castle Hotel & Spa 01-801-3500
racecourse and parade ring. The Hamlet Court Hotel, Enfield 046 9541200
Knightsbrook Hotel & Golf Resort, Trim 046 9482100
26 COURSES FOR HORSES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT FAIRYHOUSE
The first meeting held The record attendance at Easter Monday is “Ladies The Powers Whiskey
in 1848 when the Ward Union the course is just over 25,000. Day” and the stylish lady Irish Grand National is
Hunt held their point-to- crowned “Best Dressed” walks Ireland’s richest handicap
point races there. away with fantastic prizes. steeplechase worth €250,000.
The Newgrange Hotel, Navan 046 9074100
The Park Plaza, Tyrrelstown 01-827-5600
The Station House Hotel, Kilmessan 046 9025290
Trim Castle Hotel, Trim 046 9483000
Yellow House B&B, Navan 046 9073338
Dublin City Centre hotels are only 30 minutes away.
Big Cicero's, Ashbourne
La Bucca, Ratoath
Mulan (Chinese), Ratoath
The County Club, Dunshaughlin
The Mill House, Clonee
Ryan's Steakhouse, Ratoath
The Auld Stand, Ratoath
The County Club, Dunshaughlin
The Snail Box, Kilmoone
The White House, The Ward
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 27
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
FURBOGH BARNA ORANMORE
(Gaelic: Gaillimh. Meaning: The Stony Place or The Place of Foreigners) SALTHILL
Contact: Track Info:
Tel: 091 753 870 National Hunt & Flat /
www.galwayraces.com Premier Track LIMERICK
IT HAS BEEN SAID ABOUT THE FESTIVAL THAT IT ONCE BROUGHT GALWAY CITY
TO A STANDSTILL BUT NOW BRINGS THE COUNTRY TO A STANDSTILL.
28 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated about 6 km outside By Road: Galway is 80 km By Rail: Regular service to By Air: Galway airport has
Galway city off the Galway- north-west of Limerick and Galway from many regions daily flights from Dublin
Tuam road. 217 km west of Dublin. including Dublin. A bus and regular flights from
service runs from Galway several UK destinations.
station to the track. Helicopter landing at the
racecourse can be arranged
Right handed course of one mile and two furlongs
with a steep incline into the dip.
FIXTURES GALWAY REVEALED horses; myriad colours of silks and clothing; sound
Racing in Galway is not just all about of laughter; roars of triumph; challenging tone of
the week in mid-Summer, altogether there are A HIGHER STATE OF MIND bookies; children screaming; parents gently scolding;
13 fantastic days to enjoy racing in the "City of The great Irish playwright John B. Keane said that the smell of the newly intruded-upon turf; horses'
the 14 Tribes": 7 days Summer Festival, 4 days "Galway races are a state of mind". Indeed they are, sweat; quixotic odour of perfume. Such sensory
Autumn Festival and 2 days October Festival. a state of mind that is distinctly Irish, often copied but bombardment on this grand scale leaves you
never equalled. It has been said about the festival that powerless to resist, it's too exciting, too seductive.
ADMISSION it once brought Galway city to a standstill but now It's easiest to just give into it and get swept away
Summer Festival brings the country to a standstill. Those who have by the thrill of it all.
Adults €20-30 been there will understand that, those who have yet
Children €2 to visit are still strangers to this country's greatest
Students & OAPs are given a discount. sporting festival.
The place just has that indefinable "je ne sais quoi",
September & October Meetings Whether or not they are regular followers of horse- but not in the sense that it's like some places that
Adults €15 racing is immaterial, the salient pre-requisite for nearly everyone is familiar with (pubs, nightclubs
Children Free Galway racegoers is that they know how to have fun or sporting venues) where there is always a naturally
Students and OAPs are given a discount. because that is the currency of the occasion. Starting vibrant atmosphere in spite of, rather than because
in late July, the high point of the Summer holiday of, modern facilities.
Galway Racecourse, Ballybrit, Co. Galway. season, it has become the Irish equivalent of Mardi
Galway has a compelling quality and has the
Gras, and is the fastest growing festival in the world.
Tel: 091 753 870 infrastructure, facilities and personnel, both
It effects an almost magnetic force on the population in front of and behind the scenes, that gives a
and once this force draws you into its field the synergising effect to the whole occasion, elevating
Website: www.galwayraces.com experience that follows is almost hypnotising. The the experience to even greater heights. It attracts big
sights and sounds of the occasion all assail your crowds but can cater for them and because of that
senses at once; sight of constantly changing faces; they come back.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 29
Records of More recently there when the course was It was reported that The Galway races
organised racing in is an account of a five- flooded and so the 40,000 people attended were not always
Galway go back as far as day meeting in 1764 at festivities were the opening day of that approved of by
the mid-thirteenth Knockbarron near transferred to Ballybrit first race-meeting in everyone in the area. In
century when match Loughrea and in 1869. Ballybrit and 35,000 1944 Dr Browne, Bishop
races were run under steeplechases were run people attended the of Galway issued this
the auspices of King's at Kiltulla, east of second day of the two- counter in his episcopal
Plate Articles. Ballybrit up until 1868. day event. The meeting letter.
was extended to three
days in 1961 and has
gradually built up into
the present seven-day
DID YOU KNOW?
THE PEOPLE’S FESTIVAL "At Galway Races" Finally, the race was off and
Among those crowds are people from all corners the horse was settled nicely
"There where the course is,
and all backgrounds, who flock to the place year in mid-pack when the runner
Delight makes all of the one mind,
in year out, and it’s not just to press the flesh. They in front of him fell and checked
The riders on the galloping horses,
love it too. Cloone River's momentum causing
The crowd that closes in behind:
him to fall back in the field.
That's one of the great aspects of the festival, it is an and it again
The crowd took a huge swelling intake of breath
egalitarian occasion, something which a lot of great Crying aloud as the racecourse is,
and exhaled it in a groan. Nolan was out on the track
sporting occasions are not, and the great and good of And we find hearteners among men
feeling faint with his heart ready to explode in his
the land mingle with the chap in the battered peak That ride upon horses.
chest. But what was this? With 3 hurdles to go Cloone
cap who still has muck on his shoes and is only there
River was picking off the opposition with ease and
because he sold a few sheep the week before to pay DAYS LIKE THIS challenging the leaders in the straight he stormed
for the B+B and the few pints of stout. Scenes like the following are surely what to a famous win.
It is an event that captures the imagination of the great poet had in mind.
The crowd went wild - it was bedlam. Afterwards
everyone who has been privy to its pleasures and has The money had poured on Cloone River to win the the parade ring was thronged to welcome the horse
been eulogised in song, verse and on canvas by many 2004 Guinness Galway Hurdle, bringing his price and rider John Cullen back, it was like a pitch
noted artists. W. B. Yeats captured it thus in his poem down from 9/1 to 7/2 favourite. It seemed like invasion after an All-Ireland hurling win. The whole
everyone had backed him. It had been a long range place was reeling as though in the aftermath of an
plan for the trainer Paul Nolan and local owners electric storm. A truly memorable day.
Kathleen and Bernard Gillane to win this race
and the execution of it was about to unfold.
30 COURSES FOR HORSES
"The scenes of they can abandon all All this was put The cumulative The Galway
rowdyism and restraint during race aside when In spite of attendance for the 7 races are worth
drunkeness, to mention week. such activities days of the Galway approximately
no worse, which took supposedly caused by races is over 160,000 €60 Million
place in this city in the Thirdly, to the violation the racegoers Pope John every year. to the local economy.
last few days have of the licensing laws by Paul II held a mass on
offended and alarmed many bars and hotels." the grounds of the The amount bet
all decent and God- racecourse in 1979. during the whole week
Thankfully nothing like is around €22 Million
that goes on during between the Tote and
[scenes] are due to three
raceweek nowadays! Bookmakers.
Firstly, the influx into
Galway of a large
number of undesirable
Secondly, to the notion
among visitors and
some residents that
COUNTING DOWN THE DAYS bars. There are 2 Champagne Tents in the Mayor's top floor of the Millenium Stand also provides an
So don't let this year's festival go by without making Garden area and adjacent to the main Tote Building. ideal forum for corporate entertainment catering for
an appearance, start planning now, get that time off In the amenity building there is a buffet and carvery tables of ten, providing top-class food in a luxury
work, get everything organised and let yourself go. restaurant. There are 2 ATM Bank machines to the air-conditioned environment.
Just a word of warning to first timers, after attending rear of the Millenium Stand. The whole course is
The Killanin Stand was officially opened in July 2007
the Galway Races you will never be the same again wheelchair friendly with a special disabled viewing
by An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. Costing €22 million,
because it's as near as dammit addictive, and the stand adjacent to the stewards stand and the parade
the stand accommodates up to 7,000 people with
cold turkey lasts a full 12 months. Get out that ring. Disabled WCs are provided.
seating for 700 on the balcony. The state of the art
calendar and start ticking the days off.
stand consists of four floors; the ground floor and
How long before it starts again? CORPORATE FACILITIES first floor are available to all patrons. Food, bar, toilet
The Galway races 'Hospitality Village' offers a choice and Tote facilities are available on both floors. Patrons
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES of packages. The 'Blazers Pavilion' caters for groups can also have the added comfort of 700 free seats on
In the impressive Millenium Stand there is of up to ten people and includes four course gourmet the seating balcony, accessible from both the ground
a Panoramic restaurant on the top floor and food meal, champagne reception, complimentary bar, and and first floor.
facilities on all three floors including a seafood and CCTV monitoring. The 'Blazers Private Suites' caters
wine bar on the first floor. The spacious Long Bar on for 50 or more people and includes a five-course Hospitality suites are available on the second and
the ground floor also serves hot drinks. During the meal, champagne reception, complimentary bar and third floors in the form of the Plate & Hurdle Suites.
festival there are Budweiser and Guinness & Oyster CCTV monitoring. The Panoramic restaurant on the
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 31
LOCAL HOTELS LOCAL PUBS
Claregalway Hotel, Claregalway 091 738 200 Busker Brownes, Galway 091 563 377
Day’s, Galway 091 753 187 Front Door, Galway 091 563 757
Hotel Meyrick, Galway 091 564 041 Kings Head, Galway 091 566 630
Radisson, Galway 091 538 300 Living Room, Galway 091 563 804
Skeffington, Galway 091 563 173 Quay Bar, Galway 091 568 347
Donnelly’s, Barna 091 592 487
Kirwin Lane, Galway 091 568 266
Mc Swiggans, Galway 091 568 917
Park House, Galway 091 564 924
The Huntsman, Galway 091 562 849
32 COURSES FOR HORSES
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
(Gaelic: An Gabhran. Meaning: The Pass of Gabhran) KELLS STONYFORD
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 056 772 6225 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 1 R701 KNOCKTOPHER
Website:www.gowranpark.ie County: Kilkenny WATERFORD
IF SOMEBODY ASKED YOU TO PUT A RACECOURSE ANYWHERE IN IRELAND THE
CHANCES ARE YOU WOULD SET IT DOWN IN GOWRAN PARK.
17 meetings spanning the whole year from
January to December.
Students & OAPs €8
Children under 14 Free
Discounts available for pre-booked groups of 20
Gowran Park,Gowran, Co. Kilkenny.
Tel: 056 772 6225
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 33
Location How to get there
Situated just 1 km outside By Road: Gowran is 13 km By Rail: Regular train By Bus: Bus Eireann By Air: Waterford airport
the village of Gowran on east of Kilkenny, 130 km service to Kilkenny station provides a regular service is 54 km away with daily
the Dublin-Waterford road. south of Dublin and 48 km from Waterford and Dublin. from Dublin for most race flights.
north of Waterford. A short taxi ride to the meetings. Tel: 01 836 6111.
Helicopter landing at the
course. There are also regular Rapid
course can be arranged in
Express coaches from
Waterford and Dublin.
Tel: 051 872 149. Tom Duffy
special race-day coaches
from Dublin. Tel: 01 832 8169.
The course is a right-handed undulating track of
one mile and four furlongs in length that stages flat
and National Hunt racing.
GOWRAN REVEALED McEnery family nearby. Legendary trainer Paddy a popular hunter chase event followed by the
If somebody asked you to put a racecourse anywhere Mullins and his sons Tom, Willie and Tony train locally. PriceWaterhouseCoopers Classic Trail in early May.
in Ireland the chances are you would set it down in The famous Ballylinch, Ballyhane and Burgage Studs
The summer meetings, some of which are evening
Gowran Park. There is something very homely and are situated in the area. It's part of the fabric of
fixtures, feature lots of competitive and some high-
localised about the place, it's probably something to local society. And it shows in the attendance at
class jump and flat racing. The latter in particular
do with the wooded parkland, in the centre of which Gowran. People in the area really appreciate and
often throws up some talented young performers.
the racecourse is cuddled, giving it a warmth and know their racing and they have a course that they
The highlight of the Autumn/Winter meetings is
character that is not to be found on any other course can be proud of.
the Kilkenny Racing Festival in early October.
in Ireland. You just can't create places like it any
more, it really is the perfect setting for horseracing RACING SEASON
and furthermore it's augmented by modern facilities REFRESHMENT FACILITIES
There is a fine symmetry to the racing season
and competitive racing. There is a range of Hospitality Suites on the top level
at Gowran with quality fixtures evenly spread
of the Main Stand with a balcony overlooking the
throughout the year. The Thyestes Chase starts the
entire racetrack and directly opposite the winning
REAL HORSE COUNTRY ball rolling in January with many of the finest Irish
post. Various group sizes can be accommodated.
If Kildare is considered to be the home of the horse steeplechasers in action in this demanding 3-mile
Catering/bar options tailored to your budget are
in Ireland then the Kilkenny/Carlow region around race. Such legendary horses as Arkle have triumphed
available to facilitate client entertainment, family
Gowran Park must be the equivalent of the cosy in this race. Incidentally Arkle (voted by readers of
celebrations and individual bookings. A self service
country retreat of the horse in Ireland. The area is the Racing Post as the most popular horse of all time)
restaurant, numerous bars and snack bars are
awash with famous training establishments and stud won 4 times at Gowran Park in all. February brings
available throughout the Enclosure.
farms and has been a hotbed of famous horses and another flagship day, the highlight being the Red
horse people for over a hundred years. Red Rum, Mills Trial Hurdle which is often used as a prep run
the only triple Grand National winner was bred by the for Cheltenham. In early April the Tetratema Cup is
34 COURSES FOR HORSES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT GOWRAN PARK
It is part of what was Steeplechase run in mid- to the racecourse by the Levmoss. Also won his first Henry the Navigator. Proved
once the Lord Annaly estate. January. First held in 1954 it McEnery family after they race at the course before successful in his first race
commemorates the famous won it at a horse show. going on to win the Ascot here in May 2007 before
The first meeting was racehorse owned by the Gold Cup and Prix de L'arc de taking the Coventry Stakes at
held at Gowran Park in 1914. McCalmont family who have Famous horses to have at Triomphe in 1969. Royal Ascot the following
been closely linked with Gowran Park include: month. This high class
The first televised Hardy Eustace. The
meeting in Ireland was at Gowran Park since its individual subsequently
Refuse To Bend. Won his first Champion Hurdle winner
Gowran Park in 1969. inception. The magnificent landed the English and Irish
race as a two-year-old at was second in the Red Mills
trophy for the race was 2000 Guineas, the St James
Gowran before winning four Trial Hurdle in 2004 and then
The showpiece race of originally won by Thyestes in Palace Stakes and the Sussex
Group 1 races including the won it in 2005.
the season at Gowran Park is England and was donated Stakes in 2008.
2000 Guineas in 2003.
the €75,000 Thyestes
HOSPITALITY FACILITIES LOCAL RESTAURANTS
The Roof Top Suites on the top floor of the Main Stand Kyteler's Inn, Kilkenny
can cater for 30-400 people and dining choices are Langton House, Kilkenny
tailored to your budget. The Helen Sheane Suite on Lord Bagenal, Leighlinbridge
the ground floor is available for group sizes up to 70 The Long Man of Kilfane, Kilfane
people with a private bar and full dining service. The
Club House Bar is available for private bookings on LOCAL PUBS
race days. Langton's, Kilkenny
DISABLED FACILITIES The Lord Bagenal Inn, Leighlinbridge
There is a designated wheelchair viewing area in the
new stand with access via lifts. APRÈS RACING
Kilkenny city and it's environs are peppered with
LOCAL HOTELS interesting castles, cathedrals and houses, chief
Kilkenny Ormonde, Kilkenny 056 772 3388 among which is Kilkenny Castle in the city. There
Lord Bagenal, Leighlinbridge 059 977 4003 are also plentiful opportunities for golf, fishing
Mount Juliet Conrad, Thomastown 056 777 3000 and horse riding.
Springhill Court, Kilkenny 056 772 1122
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 35
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES GALWAY
(Gaelic: Cill Bheagain. Meaning: The Place of Beagan's Church) CLARA
Contact: Course Info: BALLINAGAR
Tel: 057 933 2176 National Hunt / Grade 2
www.kilbegganraces.com County: Westmeath
SET IN THE HEART OF THE MIDLANDS KILBEGGAN IS ONE OF THE BEST
ATTENDED RACETRACKS IN IRELAND, AND IT'S NOT HARD TO SEE WHY.
The Kilbeggan races are the social events of
the year in the midlands but they can't keep
something this good to themselves. Their
secret is out and crowds from all corners of the
country want to go there to get a piece of this
unique festival atmosphere that's spread out
over 8 individual days racing from early May
until early September.
A discount for students & OAPs.
Children under 14 accompanied
by an adult get free entry.
15% discount for groups of 10 or more.
20% discount for groups of 30 or more.
Kilbeggan Racecourse, Loughnagore,
Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.
Tel: 057 933 2176
36 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated 1.5 km outside By Road: 13 km north of By Rail: Tullamore is the By Bus: There is a Bus By Air: Dublin is the closest
Kilbeggan town in Co. Tullamore, 21 km south-east closest rail station from Eireann service from Dublin airport.
Westmeath. of Mullingar, 92 km west of where taxis can be hired to Central Bus Station
Dublin and 125 km north- the racecourse. (Busaras) to the town.
east of Limerick.
Kilbeggan is a right-handed, undulating course of one
mile and one furlong with an uphill run to the winning
KILBEGGAN REVEALED the racecourse, plus a self-service restaurant and
QUICK FACTS ABOUT KILBEGGAN
Set in the heart of the midlands Kilbeggan is one snack bars.
The first recording of However, in 1901 racing was
of the best attended racetracks in Ireland, and it's
racing in the Kilbeggan area revived at the present
not hard to see why. All but one of it's race dates CORPORATE FACILITIES was in March 1840 when a location and except for the
are Summer evening meetings and this fact attracts The glass-fronted Balcony Suite on the first floor group of local gentlemen war years 1941-45 has been
hordes of people from the large surrounding areas of the new pavilion provides first class hospitality organised a race in Kilbeggan held ever since.
and visitors from further afield alike, all unhindered facilities for up to 200 guests or subdivided in tables for the Challenge Cup valued
at 40 Guineas. Future racing The feature race of the
by work commitments. of 10 with its own private balcony overlooking the year is the €50,000 Midland's
was held periodically in
At first the message was a bit slow to get around racecourse. It offers a buffet lunch, CCTV, private Tote various locations around the Grand National staged in
betting and private bar facilities. The tented village town after this time but it mid-July.
the country that this was the place to go to have fun
on Summer evenings but word has spread rapidly can cater for up to 2000 guests offering the same was not a permanent fixture.
with the effect that attendances doubled from 24,000 facilities as above.
to 50,000 annually between 1995-2000 and they are LOCAL RESTAURANTS
still increasing. It is also the only racecourse in Ireland DISABLED FACILITIES
that stages National Hunt (jump) racing only, which Designated carparking, toilets and and access.
adds to the overall spectacle of its meetings.
LOCAL HOTELS LOCAL PUBS
The view of the races is excellent as the runners are Larrigy’s
Bloomfield House Hotel 044 93 40894
never too far from the stands which promotes a more
Bridge House Hotel & Leisure Club,
involved feeling among the spectators, like you're APRÈS RACING
jumping every fence/hurdle with the jockey. Tullamore 057 93 21704
Greville Arms Hotel 044 93 48563 Locke's Distillery in Kilbeggan Town is the oldest
Hilamar Hotel, Kinnegad 044 93 91719 licensed distillery in the world and is worth a visit.
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Also Tullynally and Birr Castles are open to the public.
Mullingar Park Hotel 044 93 44446
The Pavilion bar overlooks the winning post, there's Plentiful opportunities for golf and fishing.
Sheraton Hotel Athlone 090 64 51000
live music in the tented bar on the hill overlooking
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 37
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES DINGLE
(RING OF KERRY
(Gaelic: Cill Airne. Meaning: The Church of the Sloes)
Contact: Track Info:
Tel: 064 31 125 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
www.killarneyraces.ie County: Kerry N7
THE MAGNIFICENT SCENERY IS WHAT DRAWS THE HUGE CROWDS TO KILLARNEY
AND THE MOUNTAINS AND LAKES THAT CRADLE THE RACECOURSE MAKE IT
ARGUABLY THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE COUNTRY.
Students and OAP's €10
Children under 14 Free
Discounts available for pre-booked groups
of 20 or more.
There are 11 days racing during the year at
Killarney incorporating 3 festivals in early
May, the centre-piece event in mid-July plus a
new 4-day festival in August which replaces
the Tralee Rose Festival to sign off the
summer in style. When you get there you
won’t want to leave.
Killarney Racecourse, Killarney, Co. Kerry.
Tel: 064 31 125
38 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How To Get There
Located 1 km outside By Road: Approx 96km By Rail: Killarney railway By Bus: Regular service to By Air: Kerry airport at
Killarney town just off north-west of Cork and station is regularly served Killarney from Dublin, Cork Farranfore is 16 km away
the road to Kenmare in 32 km south-east of Tralee. by trains from Heuston and Limerick. Tel. Bus with flights to Dublin and
the County of Kerry. Within Station Dublin. Telephone Eireann at 01 836 6111. UK. Helicopter landing at
walking distance of the Irish Rail (Iarnrod Eireann) the course can be arranged
town. for timetables of trains to in advance.
The course is a left-handed level, oval of approx
one mile and two furlongs.
KILLARNEY REVEALED REFRESHMENT FACILITIES QUICK FACTS ABOUT KILLARNEY
Killarney is the premier tourist destination in Ireland A large restaurant, selection of bars with hot lunches The first recorded racemeetings in Killarney were in 1822
and the Killarney races provides eleven cracking days served in the main bar, also several snack (including and between that date and 1901 they were staged between two
of racing during three festivals in May, July and seafood) outlets on course. different courses in the area. They were then discontinued until
the present course was opened in 1936.
August, set to a backdrop of feverish, non-stop,
Summer-time holiday activity. It's party time all CORPORATE FACILITIES
Summer long in Killarney and there is an energy to Corporate events can be arranged in advance APRÈS RACING
the area that has seeped into the pores of every facet by contacting the racecourse. Killarney, as mentioned above, is the tourist capital
of life there. The racecourse is no exception, providing
of Ireland and there is lots to see and do both in the
no small amount of high quality racing to fulfill the
DISABLED FACILITIES town and the surrounding area. Some attractions
dual role of both family fun day out and satisfying
Viewing area, restaurant access and toilets. of note include the 26,000 acre Muckross House
Parking by arrangement. National Park located 6 km outside of Killarney.
The magnificent scenery is what draws the huge The magnificent MacGillicuddy Reeks mountain range
crowds to Killarney and the mountains and lakes is located to the west of Killarney and merits closer
LOCAL HOTELS, RESTAURANTS AND PUBS
that cradle the racecourse make it arguably the most inspection. There is also a plentiful supply of golf
If you were dropped from the sky into any part
beautiful in the country. Couple that scenery with a courses in the area, also lots of opportunities for
of Killarney or its environs you would invariably
well-appointed racecourse, exciting racing and a large fishing, horseriding and many sites of archaeological
be within crawling distance of a high quality hotel,
fun-seeking crowd and you have the ingredients for interest locally. For those just looking for a few drinks
restaurant, guest-house or pub. As it would take up
a heady cocktail of pleasure. You'll find the time flying after racing in a lively, friendly setting then Killarney
the rest of this publication to name most of them you
down there. is second to none for such venues.
are best advised to ring the Killarney Tourist Office
at 064 31 633.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 39
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
JULIANSTOWN R 15
(Gaelic: Port na hinse. Meaning: The Port of Ninch)
Contact: Course Info: DUBLIN NAUL
Tel: 041 984 2111 Flat / Grade 2
www.goracing.ie County: Meath
THAT WORD UNIQUE IS BANDIED AROUND A LOT BY PROMOTERS OF EVENTS THAT
HAVE SPURIOUS CLAIMS TO SUCH WORTHINESS BUT THIS SPECTACLE IS WORTHY
OF THE MONIKER BECAUSE IT'S THE ONLY OFFICALLY APPROVED BEACH RACING
Racing is scheduled to take place at Laytown in
Discount for students & OAPs
Children under 14 Free
Laytown Races,Laytown, Co. Meath
C/O Kevin Coleman (Manager),
9 Palace Street, Drogheda, Co. Louth.
Tel: 041 984 2111
40 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How To Get There
Laytown is a small seaside By Road: 46 km north of By Rail: There are regular By Bus: There is a special By Air: Dublin is
resort in Co. Meath on Dublin, turn right off the train services from bus service from Drogheda. the nearest airport.
Ireland's east coast. Dublin-Belfast road (N1) Drogheda and Dublin
at Julianstown. (Connolly Station) to
Racing takes place on the Laytown stand on a straight
near-level course over six and seven furlong distances.
LAYTOWN REVEALED REFRESHMENT FACILITIES QUICK FACTS ABOUT LAYTOWN
People travel from far and wide, including many Snack bars and bars provided in the marquees. It is said that it was the parish priest who organised
annual overseas visitors, to see this unique event on the first race meeting on Laytown in 1876. Held sporadically
the beach at Laytown. That word unique is bandied between that date and 1901 they were properly established in
APRÈS RACING the racing calendar in the latter year by local landowner Paddy
around a lot by promoters of events that have How about a nice refreshing swim in the sea? If that Delaney and have been held since without interruption, not
spurious claims to such worthiness but this spectacle sounds too cold in September there are golf courses even by the two world wars.
is worthy of the moniker because it's the only offically in the area and plenty of sites of archaeological
approved beach racing in Europe. Crowds as large as interest including Newgrange (ancient burial tomb
5,000 turn up to see it every year. older than the pyramids), Slane Castle (if there isn't
The last time that many people were on a beach a rock concert going on there) and ruins of Tara LOCAL RESTAURANTS
in Ireland was when the native Irish were trying settlement, all in Co. Meath. Bacchus, Bettystown
to drive back the hordes of invading vikings in the Black Bull, Drogheda
middle ages. The enclosures at Laytown consist Forge, Collon
of a three acre field elevated above the beach and Monasterboice Inn, Drogheda
Boyne Valley Hotel, Drogheda 041 983 7737
the grandstand is hewn from steps cut into the sand Conyngham Arms Hotel, Slane 041 988 4444
dunes. Marquees are erected to use as weighing Glenside, Hotel, Drogheda 041 982 9185 LOCAL PUBS
room, jockeys' room and bars etc. The course itself Neptune Beach Hotel, Bettystown 041 982 7107 Cottage Inn, Laytown
is a section of the 3 mile long golden strand, which is West Court Hotel, Drogheda 041 983 0965 Seaview Bar, Laytown
closed on the morning of the races, which take place
when the tide goes out.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 41
MAP N3 M
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES THE WEST N4
RED COW 1
STILLORGAN DUN LAOGHAIRE
THE SOUTH N 81
(Gaelic: Baile an Lobhair. Meaning: The Town of the Lepers) BALLYBODEN
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 01 289 0500 National Hunt & Flat / BRAY
www.leopardstown.com Premier Track BRAY
LEOPARDSTOWN HOSTS SOME OF THE BIGGEST RACES IN THE CALENDAR,
BOTH JUMP RACING IN WINTER AND FLAT RACING FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR.
42 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Leopardstown is situated in By Road: Coming from From Wexford/Wicklow: From Naas/Kildare: By Light Rail: The Luas
Foxrock, Dublin 18, 6 km Dublin city: Take the N11 Follow N11 northbound and Join M50 at the Red Cow (Dublin Tram System)
south of Dublin city centre. southbound, following turn left at Whites Cross roundabout and follow the terminus at Sandyford and
signs for Wexford. Turn Junction. above route. there is a courtesy bus
right at the Whites Cross From North of Dublin: available going to and from
By Rail: The nearest DART
junction onto the R113 follow M50, take Junction 15 the racecourse.
(Dublin City Rail System)
(Leopardstown Road). The and proceed along the new
station is Blackrock, a short By Bus: A raceday bus will
racecourse entrance is slip road to the racecourse
taxi journey from the depart from Busaras and
about 1 km along this road. car parks. There is no charge
racecourse. return after racing, call
The course is a left-handed oval of one mile and six
furlongs with an uphill finishing straight.
FIXTURES LEOPARDSTOWN REVEALED The Christmas meeting offers a golden opportunity
Leopardstown hosts 23 meetings per year and Leopardstown hosts some of the biggest races to get out of the house for four days of fresh air and
these are pretty evenly spread over the course in the calendar, both jump racing in Winter and flat sport, and away from the dreaded turkey and ham
of 12 months. You just can't ask for any more racing for the rest of the year. These experiences sandwiches, thereby helping tens of thousands of
on a day out. Good company and great horses, people each year avoid insanity sitting at home during
range from the Christmas festival, to fun-filled
all together in a great setting with a real sense
Leopardstown Summer Series evening meetings in this time watching movies they've already seen!
of occasion. Perfect.
Summer with live music afterwards, to the Autumn
ADMISSION PRICES season when the highlight is the Tattersalls Millions
BEST MATE VERSUS BEEF OR SALMON
Irish Champion Stakes. This was the biggest steeplechasing match-up
Top-Level Seats €30-50
Augmenting this great racing, the facilities ensure since Buck House and Dawn Run (see Punchestown).
OAPs & Students €10-15 The two heavyweights of steeplechasing, triple Gold
that every need of the racegoer is amply catered for
Discounts of 15% are available for in terms of sustenance and entertainment. Any time Cup winner Best Mate, one of the best of the modern
pre-booked groups of 20 people or more, of the year is a good time to come to Leopardstown. era, squaring up to his main Irish challenger Beef
depending on the meeting. Or Salmon in the Lexus (formerly Ericsson)
10% online discount for most fixtures. Steeplechase, not just once but twice.
CHRISTMAS GLORIES AND THE SUPER 7
Reduced online price for the Christmas Festival. The Super 7 series of meetings starts with the In 2003 Best Mate set the place abuzz when his
CONTACT 4 days of the Christmas meeting, continues into brilliant jumping saw him win easily and was given a
Leopardstown Racecourse, Foxrock, Dublin 18. January with the Pierse Hurdle Day and Toshiba Irish rousing reception by the huge crowd. But a year later
Champion Hurdle Day and finishes in early February round 2 went to his nemesis Beef Or Salmon who put
Tel: 01 289 0500
with the Hennessy Gold Cup, the jewel in Ireland's up an equally dominant display and gave the festive
Email: email@example.com steeplechasing crown. It is a trail of events that offers crowd just as big a thrill.
Website: www.leopardstown.com wide-eyed thrill after thrill.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 43
ISTABRAQ AND MOSCOW FLYER THE CHAMPION STAKES DEFINITION OF EXCITEMENT
The best Irish hurdle horse of the last 20 years, The Tattersalls Milllions Irish Champion Stakes is the There have been some titanic battles between horses
Istabraq strutting his stuff in the Festival Hurdle, highlight of Leopardstown’s flat racing season and and between their jockeys in recent years and since
which he won three times. The champion speed every year attracts the crème de la crème of flat World Champion Daylami streaked home by 9 lengths
chaser Moscow Flyer showing his class (he has horses from Ireland, Britain and the continent for the in 1999, nostrils, short-heads and heads have been
won four times at the meeting) and many other €1 million prize. the standard winning distances. In fact if you were
champions, with a supporting cast of the cream to get a cent for every inch of the aggregate winning
Aidan O’Brien’s Dylan Thomas is the only horse to
of jump racing's emerging young stars taking each distance in this race since then you wouldn't have
win the race twice (2006 & 2007) before he went on
other on to see which are true contenders and which enough money to buy the cheapest wooden ruler
to Paris to take the Prix de l’Arc. Past winners of the
are mere pretenders. How could you spend with which to measure it.
race have been crowned world champions: Daylami
post-Christmas days in any other way?
(1999), Fantastic Light (2001), High Chaparral (2003) It is the epitome of what top-class international
and New Approach (2008). Its timing in early horseracing should be, everything about the race
SUPER SERIES, LEGS 5, 6 AND 7 September is perfect for horses who have contested shouts excitement. In fact so exciting has this race
Following on from this Christmas feast there is more the big races during the Summer and who have had a been that it was recently proposed by the union of
self-indulgence in January when the valuable Pierse break before their Autumn campaigns. Its Irish doctors that it's members, when prescribing
Handicap Hurdle and Toshiba Irish Champion Hurdle intermediate distance of 11/4 miles accommodates heart and blood pressure medicine for patients,
are staged. In early February Leopardstown then horses coming back from 11/2 miles and those going affix the following addendum onto the bottle's label;
plays host to the most prestigious steeplechase run up from 1 mile. It also provides one of the most "N.B. Under no circumstances should the patient
in Ireland, the Hennessy Gold Cup. Its roll of honour meaningful comparisons of different generations of attend Champion Stakes Day at Leopardstown".
is adorned with the names of champions including horses with the classic three-year-olds taking on the
Florida Pearl (4 times), Beef Or Salmon (3 times), But seriously, the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion
tough, battle-hardened older veterans.
Jodami (3 times), Dorans Pride, Danoli, The Listener Stakes owns the potential to excite and enthral like
and Neptune Collonges. few other events and if the earth doesn't move for
you afterwards the only way it ever will is if you fly
44 COURSES FOR HORSES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT LEOPARDSTOWN
It was built in 1888 by The Derrinstown The record attendance The World Athletics
Captain George Quin. It was Stud Derby Trial run at at the course is 21,000, on Cross-Country Championships
purchased by the Racing Leopardstown in May 28th August 1990. have been staged at
Board (since evolved into was won by the subsequent Leopardstown on two
Horse Racing Ireland) in 1967 English Derby winner three occasions, in 2002 and back
in order to secure its future years in a row; Sinndar in 1964.
for racing. (2000), Galileo (2001) and
High Chapparal (2002). The
2003 winner Alamshar was
third in the English Derby
but then won the Irish Derby.
into outer space and observe it moving. Witness the At the finish Fantastic Light won by a short head. CORPORATE FACILITIES
following: Afterwards the scene at the course bore more The Private Suites are located on the top level of
resemblence to that of a Glastonbury rock festival the Reserved Stand. A single suite can accommodate
FANTASTIC LIGHT VERSUS GALILEO because everyone in the crowd was high on sheer 12 for silver service meal or 24 for a buffet. Double
Nominated by the readers of the "Racing Post" as the adrenaline. Garda checkpoints must have had a suites can accommodate 50 guests buffet style.
7th greatest race of all time is the Fantastic Light perplexing time that evening as they looked at
The Levmoss and Centenary Rooms can cater for 120
versus Galileo battle in the 2001 Champion Stakes. these glassy-eyed, obviously intoxicated people
and 90 people respectively and combined up to 220.
Galileo, trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by driving home but none of whom had a trace of
Facilities include CCTV, private bar, private balcony
Michael Kinane, had won the English and Irish Derbys stimulant in their bloodstream.
and accessible Tote betting.
that year and had beaten the older Fantastic Light
when they met at Ascot in July but he, together with REFRESHMENT FACILITIES The magnificent Pavilion is a glass-fronted building
his jockey Frankie Dettori and owners Godolphin, There is an extensive range of bars and restaurants with its own balcony overlooking the straight and can
were looking for revenge. including the Fillies Café Bar, which operates Pub cater for groups of 200-1000. CCTV and private Tote
hours throughout the year. On racedays there are four betting facilities are provided.
The race followed a familiar pattern with two
public bars: Jodami, Club 92, Tetrarch and Madigans.
pacemakers setting the race up for the main players
There are also private bars for Annual Members and
until, turning into the straight Dettori made a decisive
Seat Holders. The Fillies Café Bar, Paddock Food Hall
move and shot his horse into the lead. Galileo and
and Silken Glider Restaurant provide a range of eating
Kinane went in pursuit. All the way up the straight
they battled, neck and neck as they each willingly
strained every muscle and used every ounce of See www.leopardstown.com for more information on
energy to try to edge ahead and all the while the packages and hospitality.
crowd roared them on.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 45
OTHER FACILITIES LOCAL HOTELS LOCAL BARS
A permanent AIB Bank ATM machine on site. Beacon, Sandyford 01 291 5000 Crystal Bar, Beacon Hotel
Bewleys,Leopardstown 01 293 5000 Leopardstown Inn
Leopardstown boasts its own Golf Centre, an 18 hole
D4 Hotel Group 01 668 4468 Stillorgan Orchard
'pay as you play' course in the centre of the track
Fitzpatricks Castle Hotel, Killiney 01 284 0700
also incorporating a 48-bay floodlit driving range. To
Stillorgan Park Hotel, Stillorgan 01 288 1621 APRÈS RACING
help with your game there is a McGuirks Golf Shop.
Radisson SAS St Helens Hotel, There are more interesting places to see and things
West Wood Health and Fitness Centre, with a special Blackrock 01 218 6000 to do in Dublin than you can shake a stick at and it
children’s area-Fit Zone. The Merrion Hotel 01 603 0600 would be a futile exercise to try to list them all but
Leopardstown's Club 92 is a popular nightclub which here are some: Dundrum Town Centre, Art Galleries,
opens from Thursday to Sunday from 11 PM. LOCAL RESTAURANTS Museums, Theatres, Shopping, Dublin Zoo in Phoenix
Beaufield Mews, Stillorgan Park, beautiful beaches nearby and lots more.
Fillies Café Bar- An award winning bar and Coopers, Kilternan
restuarant, open daily. La Casa, Stepaside
Leopardstown Inn, Leopardstown
My Thai, Beacon Hotel
The Goat Grill, Goatstown
46 COURSES FOR HORSES
MAP N7 LISNAGRY
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES ANNACOTTY
(Gaelic: Luimneach. Meaning: The Bare Area)
Contact: Course Info: 14
Tel: 061 320 000 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 1
www.limerickraces.ie County: Limerick CORK
A GREAT DAY OF HORSE RACING, FOOD, FLUTTER, CRAIC AND LIVE ENTERTAINMENT. RACE COURSE
LIMERICK RACECOURSE’S CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE ST. PATRICK'S WEEKEND,
SUMMER TWILIGHT RACING FESTIVAL AND THE MUNSTER NATIONAL IN OCTOBER.
THE LIMERICK CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL CONSISTS OF 4 DAYS OF NATIONAL HUNT
RACING AND IS A HIGHLIGHT OF THE SOCIAL CALENDAR IN THE CITY EACH YEAR.
Students & OAPs €10-15
Children under 14 Free
Limerick racecourse’s grade 1 racetrack hosts 20
race days throughout the year.
Highlights include St. Patrick's weekend,
Summer Twilight Racing Festival with live
music from May to July and the Munster
National in October. The Limerick Christmas
Festival consists of 4 days of national hunt
racing and is a highlight of the social calendar
in the city each year.
Limerick Racecourse,Greenmount Park,
Tel: 061 320 000
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 47
Location How to get there
Situated at Greenmount By Road: 100 km north By Rail: Regular service By Air: Shannon airport By Bus: Bus Eireann operate
Park, Patrickswell, 8 km of Cork, and 80 km south to Limerick City station is 15 km away. Helicopter a shuttle bus service to and
south-west of Limerick city of Galway. from various routes. Buses landing at the course can from Limerick racecourse on
on the N20. Signposted run from the station to be arranged beforehand. the day from Colbert
along the N20. the racecourse on racedays. station. Buses run 1 hour
and 30 minutes before the
first race and straight after
the last race. We offer free
car parking for 2000 cars on
site Limerick racecourse is
located on the N20/N21, 5
miles from Limerick city.
It is a right-handed oval track of about one mile
and three furlongs.
LIMERICK REVEALED work and no play... Seriously though, this is a great MUNSTER NATIONAL
Limerick racecourse has something for everyone, day out, a chance to meet students (thousands In October some of the best steeplechasers in the
a race meeting to suit your style, pocket, taste in of them) from other colleges, think of it as a widening business take to the stage in this competitive and
music, taste in beer, taste in jockeys. In fact racing of opportunities, and it's early enough in the year historic race. Among the stars to have competed in
in Limerick probably hosts the most varied series of (March/April) when things are still pretty cool and the this €100,000 event over the years include Foxchapel
meetings of all the courses in the country. That's not summer exams are still over the hills and far away. King, More Than A Stroll, Dear Villez, former Grand
just some vacuous promotional gimmick. The package includes: entry into racecourse, free National winner Monty's Pass and the magnificent
It's true - let me demonstrate. shuttle to après racing party after racing. Special Beef Or Salmon.
buses run from most colleges in the country. Check
The following eclectic mix of themed racing is what
out your student union office for details. FESTIVE FUN
(some of, not all) Limerick has to offer over the year.
Chronologically, it goes a little something like this. This annual 4-day (26-29 Dec) Christmas Festival at
BARBEQUE AND TWILIGHT EVENINGS Limerick is as much a part of the Christmas season
For those who like to mix good racing, good as Santa Claus and mulled wine. After indulging in the
NATIONAL STUDENT RACE DAY food and the best in headline music then Limerick feast on Christmas Day get stuck into a feast of
A chance for the students of Ireland to take a break
racecourse’s ‘Twilight Racing’ has a treat in store racing that will satisfy even the heartiest of appetites
from the punishing, hectic life of dedicated scholarly
for you. A series of evening meetings feature packed but which won't leave an unpleasant legacy of
endeavour, to leave behind the cycle of lectures,
racing programmes with barbecues afterwards and indigestion and wind. It is an ideal setting in which to
tutorials, assignments, late night studying, exam
on a number of special nights the best music acts meet and socialise with friends and relations old and
stress, harassment from greedy landlords and head
in Ireland will keep things swinging until the witching- new where you can have fun, a few drinks, a few
to Limerick for a thoroughly enjoyable, inexpensive
hour. Past performers at these fantastic events flutters and catch up on old times while not feeling
(most importantly) and different day out. Even if you
include the chart topping The Blizzards and Paddy cramped or uncomfortable.
can't bear to miss that macro-economics lecture you
Casey. On these occasions a free bus service into a
were so looking forward to, think of it as therapy, you
top nightclub will operate after live entertainment.
can get the notes and you know the old saying; all
48 COURSES FOR HORSES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT LIMERICK
Limerick racecourse It is the seventh different The previous course at The present course is
opened in October 2001 to a location for racing in Co. Greenpark closed in 1999 built on the site of a stud
record crowd of 18,000. It is Limerick since the first having held racing for 130 farm 250 acres of which is
the first built from scratch recorded fixtures in 1790. It's years. occupied by the racecourse.
racecourse in Ireland for 50 predecessors were Bruff,
years and has first rate Rathkeale, Newcastle,
modern facilities in the Hugh Lemonfield, Ballinacurra and
McMahon Stand. Greenpark.
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES LOCAL HOTELS APRÈS RACING
There are 3 bars, several fast food and self service Adare Mannor 061 396 566 There are many sites of archaeological interest
outlets within the Hugh McMahon stand. Limerick Dunraven Arms Hotel, Adare 061 396 633 in the area, including King John's Castle in Limerick,
is the only sporting venue with a Supermac’s outlet. The Lynch South Court Hotel 061 487 487 and many opportunities for horse riding, golfing,
The Radisson SAS, Limerick 061 456 200 fishing and sight seeing.
CORPORATE FACILITIES Woodlands House Hotel, Adare 061 605 100
For more information check out www.limerickraces.ie
A reserved table in the Panoramic Restaurant on
the 2nd floor of the Hugh McMahon Stand offers LOCAL RESTAURANTS
first class cuisine to groups of all sizes in a modern Dragon I, Patrickswell
setting. Enjoy your own reserved table and a sweeping The Blue Door, Adare
view of the racecourse, with deluxe catering. The Locke Bar and Restaurant, Limerick
The Wild Geese, Adare
The restaurant has full bar and Tote facilities.
On the 3rd floor the Private Corporate Suites
can accommodate groups of up to 100. Standard LOCAL PUBS
packages include deluxe catering, private bar and Au Bars, Limerick
exclusive Tote access. Packages can also be tailored Clohessy’s Bar, Limerick
to suit. Alternatively, both venues can be Dark Horse, Patrickswell
amalgamated to cater for 450 guests. Nancy Blakes, Limerick
A state of the art venue providing ample FREE car
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 49
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES BALLYBUNION R5
(Gaelic: Lios Tuathail. Meaning: The Fort of Tuathail) BANEMORE
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 068 21 144 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 1
www.listowelraces.ie County: Kerry
WHEN IT COMES TO FESTIVALS NOBODY DOES IT BETTER THAN THE PEOPLE OF
KERRY. TRADITIONALLY IT WAS THE MEETING WHERE THE FARMERS OF IRELAND
CAME TO SPEND/GAMBLE THE MONEY THEY MADE FROM THE HARVEST.
50 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated just outside the By Road: Listowel is 25 km By Rail: Regular train By Air: Kerry airport at
town of Listowel in Co. north-east of Tralee, 110 km service from Dublin Farranfore is 56 km away.
Kerry. north-west of Cork and 80 (Heuston Station) to Tralee Helicopter landings at the
km south-west of Limerick. and Limerick from where course can be arranged in
there are special bus advance.
services to Listowel
during the festival.
The course is a flat, left-handed oval of just over
one mile in length.
FIXTURES LISTOWEL REVEALED since grown into something much larger and more
There are 9 days racing at Listowel during the When it comes to festivals nobody does it better wideranging than that and everybody and anybody
year, 2 days in June and the 7-day spectacular than the people of Kerry. Holding festivals is what now attends with a warm Kerry welcome guaranteed
in September. they are best at. Enter the words "Kerry" and to all.
ADMISSION "Festival" into an internet search engine and you'll
Adults €15-20 get hundreds of thousands of hits giving details of KERRY NATIONAL
Students & OAPs Half-price festivals of all sorts, from swimming with dolphins The racing consists of an even mix of jump and flat
Children under 14 Free (which they do at nearby Dingle) to the famous racing races. The feature race of the week is the €150,000
At the Festival meeting the admission price of festival in Listowel, which runs in conjunction with the Guinness Kerry National Chase which has been won
€20 includes access to the reserved enclosures. Harvest Festival, so-called because it was traditionally by some great horses in the past including Dorans
held to celebrate the saving of the Autumn harvest. Pride and produced some fabulous races down the
Two Kerry festivals for the price of one! That has years, none more so than the memorable 2003
CONTACT DETAILS to be good, and it is.
The Racecourse, Listowel, Co Kerry running. What about this for a story. Co. Tipperary
garage owner Donal O'Connor (who isn't a hugely
Tel: 068 21 144 7 GREAT DAYS IN KERRY wealthy owner) owned two horses in the race, Native
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org It is now the joint longest racing festival in Ireland, Performance and River Cora and both seemed to have
at 7 days in duration the same as the Galway races decent chances on the formbook and started at 8/1
and second in attendances only to that great event. and 12/1 respectively. But what happened was the
It is the last major festival of the Summer and the last stuff of fairytales because from the 2nd last fence to
one before Christmas so the crowds make the most the winning line they fought out a great finish with
of the festivities. Traditionally it was the meeting Native Performance prevailing by a neck.
where the farmers of Ireland came to spend/gamble
the money they made from the harvest but it has
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 51
QUICK FACTS ABOUT LISTOWEL
Racing in the area was It started as a 2-day event 2003 Irish Derby winner The record attendance is
originally held at Ballyeagh, but because of its popularity Alamshar won his first race at 93,000, in 2003, over 7 days.
near Ballybunion but due to has been gradually extended Listowel in 2002.
faction fighting was moved to over the years and in 2002
Listowel in 1858. It was became a week long affair.
originally known as the
North Kerry Hunt
It was a thrilling race for the large crowd watching APRÈS RACING LOCAL HOTELS
but was wildly exciting for O'Connor who admitted There is always a lively atmosphere in the town Cliff House Hotel, Ballybunion 068 27 777
he didn't know which of them had won. "It could during the week and always something going on Golf Hotel, Ballybunion 068 27 111
only happen in Kerry", he claimed afterwards. Stories such as street entertainment, busking competitions, Listowel Arms Hotel, Listowel 068 21 500
such as that are what make this the great occasion music and dancing in pubs. Listowel and the Marine Links Hotel, Ballybunion 068 27 139
that it is. surrounding area is known as the Literary Capital of
Ireland and has produced many famous writers most LOCAL RESTAURANTS
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES notably the late John B. Keane, Bryan McMahon, and Bunker Bar and Restaurant, Ballybunion
There is a dining room, self-service restaurant, Brendan Kennelly. The Kerry Literary and Culture Harty Costello's Pub/Restaurant, Listowel
snack bars, fast food outlets and many bars. Centre in Listowel celebrates this great literary Maid of Erin, Pub/Restaurant, Listowel
tradition. Woulfe's Horseshoe Pub/Restaurant, Listowel
CORPORATE HOSPITALITY There is a fine golf course in Listowel and nearby
A corporate hospitality room is available which is the world renowned Ballybunion Golf course LOCAL PUBS
can cater for 40-100 people. which has played host to such as Bill Clinton and Lynch's Pub, Listowel
Tiger Woods. Tom Watson is also a regular visitor John B. Keanes, Listowel
OTHER FACILITIES to the club. Pure Drop, Listowel
There are 2 wheelchair designated viewing
areas in the stands.
52 COURSES FOR HORSES
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES N7
KILMEAGUE NAAS TOWN KILL
(Gaelic: Nas Na Riogh. Meaning: The Meeting Place of Kings)
Contact: Course Info: R11
Tel: 045 897 391 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 1 TULLOW
www.naasracecourse.com County: Kildare
NAAS IS SET IN THE HEART OF KILDARE WHICH IS RENOWNED AS THE
‘THOROUGHBRED COUNTY’ OF IRELAND AND THE TOWN IS ALSO FAMOUSLY,
AS IN IT'S GAELIC TRANSLATION, THE "MEETING PLACE OF THE IRISH KINGS".
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 53
Location How To Get There
Located about 1km from By Road: 32 km from Dublin By Rail: Arrow rail service By Bus: On racedays a By Air: Dublin airport is
Naas town centre in ‘the city centre. Take the N7 from Dublin Heuston to special bus leaves Busaras 40km away (take M50 then
Thoroughbred county’ of southwards, take the turn Sallins (about 5 km away) (Dublin Central Bus Station) N7).
Kildare. for Naas and the racecourse with feeder bus into Naas for the racecourse. Also Bus
is on the left en route into town. For more details Eireann and private bus
Naas town. 130 km north of contact Iarnrod Eireann services to Naas from
Waterford 165 km west of (Irish Rail) at 01-8366222. Waterford via Carlow.
The course is left-handed, undulating and one mile
and four furlongs in length with a stiff uphill climb
to the winning post. Also a chute for sprint races
that joins the straight.
FIXTURES NAAS REVEALED as good food there is live music after racing and on
There are 15 meetings at Naas annually It is entirely fitting that there should be a racecourse at Bank Holliday Family days there are bouncy castles,
including many themed days including Naas, in fact it must have been pre-ordained by some clowns, face painting and a host of activities for the
Beginners' Day, Family Days, BBQ Evenings sort of divinity. For Naas is set in the heart of Kildare whole family to enjoy.
and Cheltenham Trial Day. The meetings
which is renowned as the "the Thoroughbred County" of
are spread evenly over 12 months.
Ireland and the town is also famously, as in it's Gaelic ROLL CALL OF CHAMPIONS
translation, the "Meeting Place of the Irish Kings". Some outstanding horses have competed at Naas down
Well, horses are the real Kings of Ireland (if public the years including in the 60's the great Arkle and Mill
Students & OAPs €9 devotion is anything to go by) so it's appropriate that House and several winners of the Grand National.
Children Under 14 Free they have a place of competition in the heart of their 2008 was an exciting year over Jumps and on the
Group discount of 20% for groups of 10 or more spiritual home. As for the kings who met here in the Flat at Naas. Cuis Ghaire won the Group 3
(pre-booking required) middle ages: what did they do in Naas when they Swordlestown Sprint Stakes in Naas before going on
met? Chances are they organised a few horseraces to win the Group 3 Albany Stakes for Jim Bolger and
as entertainment and organised a feast afterwards. Kevin Manning at Royal Ascot.
Naas Racecourse, Tipper Road, Naas, Co. Kildare They would probably have had some activities to The NH action heated up on Cheltenham Trial day in
Tel: 045 897 391 occupy the energies of the children: face painting, February when Thyne Again won in good style for
funny shows and the like and they would certainly Willie Burke and top jockey Davy Russell. This
have had some music afterwards. Funny how some triumph was quickly followed by a fourth placing in
Website: www.naasracecourse.com things never change and others stay the same the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham and when he made
because you will get all of the above entertainment his seasonal debut at his beloved Naas on
at Naas races today only the facilities are a lot better Weatherby’s Day in October, he annihilated the
and it's much easier to get a cappuccino now than it opposition in another wide margin victory which
was back then. On the BBQ Summer Nights, as well bodes well for his 2009 Cheltenham target.
54 COURSES FOR HORSES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT NAAS
The first racemeeting Coolmore Group 3 Sprint in The fixture in late The paddypower.com
took place at Naas in June June worth €90,000, The February is an important Johnstown Novice Hurdle
1924 when the card was Garnet Stakes Listed Race trial day for Irish horses (Grade 2) of €50,000.
comprised of flat, hurdle and with a purse of €60,000 and going to Cheltenham and There is in excess of €225,000
steeplechase events. The Derrinstown Stud the impressive list of races in prize money on offer on
European Breeders Fund on the day includes the this day that has been dubbed
When it comes to flat Birdcatcher Premier Nursery paddypowerpoker.com ‘The paddypower.com
racing there are many of €70,000 both fixtures are Newlands Steeplechase Cheltenham Trial Day’ as
highlights throughout the run in October. (Grade 2) of €60,000, The it is the last run out before
season at the Woodlands Park Woodlands Park 100 Club Nas Cheltenham for many
venue most notably The Na Riogh Novice Chase and Festival contenders.
More recently the roll call of winners at Naas is just a spectacular view of the course from your own Osprey Hotel & Spa, Naas 045 881111
as impressive and includes 2004 Champion Irish 2- reserved table. Package includes a four course silver Stand House Hotel, Curragh 045 436177
year-old Damson who won at Naas before winning at service meal, CCTV, private Tote facilities, bar and Tulfarris House and Golf Resort,
Royal Ascot and other Cheltenham Festival winners easy access to the stand and bookmakers arena. Blessington 045 867600
who have also triumphed at Naas include Dorans The corporate suites located on the second floor
Pride, Danoli, Pizarro and Gold Cup hero Imperial Call. of the Grand Stand building can cater for 16 people LOCAL RESTAURANTS
for a silver service meal and 18 for a buffet. Butt Mullins, Naas
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Double suites can cater for 40 for silver service and up Johnstown Inn, Johnstown
There are three bars at the course: The Opera Hat Bar to 50 for a buffet, the Premier Suite can cater for 60 for La Primavera, Naas
and Snack Area with seating. The Tote Bar is located on Silver Service and up to 100 for a buffet. Each suite Lemongrass, Naas
the ground floor of the Grand Stand building and the offers a private balcony with sweeping views of the Maloti Indian, Naas
Guinness Champion Bar is located on the first floor of track, a private bar, private Tote facilities and CCTV. Storehouse, Naas
the Grand Stand. Behind the Grand Stand is the carvery Extras such as betting vouchers for your guests, a Vie de Chateaux, Naas
restaurant with a choice of hot and cold meals. Tipster and a champagne reception can be arranged.
OTHER FACILITIES APRÈS RACING Fletchers
There is a special viewing area for disabled people The Irish National Stud is a must see. Excellent fishing Graces
with wheelchair access between the stands and and golfing facilities in the area. Haydens
wheelchair accessible toilets. Ivy Inn
CORPORATE FACILITIES McCormacks
Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge 045 431666
Located on the first floor of the Grand Stand Killashee House & Villa Spa, Naas 045 879277
building, the Panoramic Restaurant lends the racegoer Maudlins House Hotel, Naas 045 896999
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 55
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES CAVAN
M3 N3 R16
(Gaelic: An Uaimh. Meaning: The Place of the Cave)
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 046 902 1350 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 1
www.navanracecourse.ie County: Meath
"SURE THEY WOULD BE MAD NOT TO" AS HECTOR O'HEOCHAGAIN MIGHT HAVE SAID
ABOUT HIS HOME TOWN TRACK BECAUSE NAVAN'S IMPRESSIVE BIG RACE SCHEDULE
OFFERS NOT JUST TRIALS FOR BIG RACES ELSEWHERE BUT LOTS OF RACES THAT
CAN STAND ON THEIR OWN AS IMPORTANT EVENTS.
There are 16 fixtures annually at Navan with
a break in racing from July until October.
Students & OAPs Reduced entry
Children under 14 free
Discount available for groups of 20 or more.
Navan Racecourse, Proudstown,
Navan, Co. Meath.
Tel: 046 902 1350
Fax: 046 902 7964
56 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated 3 km outside By Road: Navan is 48 km By Rail: Drogheda (24 km By Bus: Buses leave from By Air: Dublin is the closest
Navan town on the north-west of Dublin on the away) is the closest railway Busaras (Dublin Central Bus airport. Helicopter landing
Kingscourt Road (R162). N3. station. There are bus Station) every hour from at the course can be
transfers to Navan. 7.30 AM (9.00AM on arranged in advance.
Sundays) to Navan stopping
about 3 km from the course.
Tel. Bus Eireann 01 836 6111
or log onto
The course is left-handed, one mile and two furlongs in
length and undulating with a stiff uphill climb to the
NAVAN REVEALED What was the line in that film again? food halls with a new facility on the first floor level
Navan is one of the fastest improving courses "If you build it they will come", well Navan, of the grandstand. The total budgeted cost of the
in Ireland and it shows in the quality of its racing through significant investment in the course and project is in excess of €8m and is due for completion
which naturally attracts some of the best horses in generous dollops of prizemoney has attracted large during 2006.
the land. It stages both flat and jump racing but it's crowds and a list of top-class horses as long as your
best known for the latter, especially in the Autumn arm. Recognise some of these? Mac's Joy, Watson REFRESHMENT FACILITIES
and Winter months, the wraps come off the jump- Lake, Back In Front, Moscow Flyer, Limestone Lad, Self-service restaurant, several bars and snack bars.
racing stars and almost inevitably they will turn up at Davids Lad, Solerina, Hardy Eustace, Emotional
Navan at some point during the season. Moment. Thought you might. Well Navan is the
place to catch them in action. Navan has numerous CORPORATE FACILITIES
"Sure they would be mad not to" as Hector Navan has a number of suites that can be hired
themed racedays with Family day on first Sunday in
O'hEochagain might have said about his home town for race days;
May with lots of activities for all the family, there is
track because Navan's impressive big race schedule
also a Country & Western evening in June, ideal for The Proudstown Suite can cater for 125 people.
offers not just trials for big races elsewhere but lots
summer staff outings and not to forget Ladies Day in
of races that can stand on their own as important The Boyne Suite can cater for 125 people.
October each year.
events. This schedule includes the following: Tara
The O'Sullivan Suite has a capacity of 75.
Hurdle, Boyne Hurdle, Fortria Chase, Lismullen Hurdle
(all worth €50,000), the Barry and Sandra Kelly NAVAN’S NEW DEVELOPMENT The Bective Restaurant Silver Service seating
Memorial Novice Hurdle worth €70,000 and Troytown During 2005, Navan will commence their new 65 people.
Chase (€85,000) the showpiece of the season. development consisting of 140 new stables,
weighroom, jockeys complex, press rooms and The latter two suites can be made into one to cater
childrens play area. Also new owners & trainers and for 200. All these suites come with first-class service
members bar with parade ring view and balcony. and facilities include CCTV, private Tote facilities and
There will also be an extension to current bars and excellent views of the racecourse. Larger groups can
also be catered for in the marquee.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 57
Corporate racedays at Navan are tailored to individual
company needs and are guaranteed to provide
great racing, superb hospitality and excellent live
QUICK FACTS ABOUT NAVAN
The first meeting held at Navan
entertainment after racing. It’s the ideal opportunity
was in 1920.
for entering clients or employees.
Navan’s record attendance was
The restaurant and bar facilities are open seven days in 2001 at 5128.
a week. Private functions can also be catered for.
Events previously held include Home Improvement & Many of the Horses who have won
over Navan’s testing uphill finish have
Motor Show, Irish American Youth Team Fun Day Out,
gone on to win Championship Races.
New Years Eve Gala Ball. Navan Golf and Racecourse Recent winners include: Moscow Flyer
can also facilitate marquees for weddings, musical (Winner of Queen Mother Champion
events, gala dinners, etc. Chase, Cheltenham 2003) Brave Inca
(Winner of the Letheby & Christopher
Supreme Novice Hurdle, Cheltenham
OTHER FACILITIES 2004), Hardy Eustace (Winner of the
Navan has a beautiful 18-hole golf course within Smurfit Champion Hurdle,
it's grounds so you can indulge in two of Ireland's Cheltenham 2004) .
consuming passions in one place. There is also a Navan has a fantastic 18 hole
12 bay golf driving range on-site where you can 72 par championship golf course and
warm up for the holes ahead. a 12 bay floodlit driving range .
Designated parking, lift and toilets.
Ardboyne Hotel, Navan 046 902 3119
Newgrange Hotel, Navan 046 907 4100
Racecourse Restaurant open 7 days a week
China Garden, Navan
Hudson's Bistro, Navan
Singapore Sam's, Navan
The Loft, Navan
Henry Loughrans, Navan
Round O Bar, Navan
The world famous burial tomb of Newgrange is just
15 km from the course. Other attractions include
Trim Castle, Kells Heritage Centre, the site of the
Battle of the Boyne and Slane Castle.
58 COURSES FOR HORSES
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES DUBLIN
(Gaelic: Baile Fuinse. Meaning: The Valley of the Ash Trees) MILLTOWN
Contact: Course Info: 13
Tel: 045 897 704 National Hunt / Premier Track R 113
www.punchestown.com County: Kildare R413
THE PUREST, MOST SATISFYING MOMENT OF ANY SPECTATOR SPORT IS WHEN
SEEING ITS BEST PERFORMERS DOING WHAT THEY DO BEST, AT THEIR BEST,
AND THE SPRING FESTIVAL AT PUNCHESTOWN DELIVERS ON THAT REMIT
WITH EXCITING RESULTS FOR THE VIEWING PUBLIC.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 59
Location How to get there
Situated 5 km from Naas on By Road: 37 km south of By Rail: Newbridge (14 km) By Bus: During the 4-day By Air: Dublin is the closest
the Naas-Ballymore Eustace Dublin on the N7. 115 km is the closest railway Festival a special bus is airport. Helicopter landing
road. Signposted from Naas. north-west of Rosslare port. station, from where a taxi available from Busaras in at the racecourse can be
can be taken to the Dublin city centre (Store arranged in advance.
racecourse. Street). For other meetings
Bus Eireann and private bus
services provide a regular
service to Naas.
The present racecourse is right-handed and
undulating with flat, hurdle, steeplechase and bank
courses. Hurdle course is one mile-six furlongs.
The steeplechase course is two miles.
There are 18 racedays at Punchestown yearly, PUNCHESTOWN REVEALED RACING NIRVANA
held in two stages, from January to May Punchestown stages some of the finest jump racing, With around €3 Million prize money on offer and 11
followed by a Summer break and then from not just in Ireland but in the world because, simply Grade 1 races over the now 5 days, the festival
October to December. Peerless Punchestown put, it is the place where the champions of jump attracts the best horses from Britain (and some from
we like to call it and for good reason. racing meet. Racing at the course is always about France to give extra flavour) to take on the best of the
ADMISSION PRICES quality and the Autumn and Winter seasons there Irish contingent and this is what makes it so special:
Adults €15 include many excellent fixtures, the highlight being the crunch and sometimes grudge races. The
Students and OAPs Half-price the Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Chase in principal players from the Fairyhouse, Cheltenham
Accompanied children under 14 Free December, won in recent years by such greats as and Aintree Festivals all hook up again with some
Festival Prices Kicking King and Beef or Salmon. As good as those looking for revenge for previous defeats and others
Adult €40 meetings are they are merely warm-ups. looking to frank their superiority. Then there are the
(Reserved Enclosure) dark horses, which for one reason or another did not
Adult €30 For, just when the jump racing season is coming to its
run at those previous festivals and are now looking to
(General Admission) end in April, Punchestown, like a sleeping giant which
topple the interim leaders from their pedestals. This is
has been waiting in the wings while other festivals
CONTACT serious stuff for owners, trainers and jockeys but for
have come and gone, awakes from its slumber and
Punchestown Racecourse, Naas, Co. Kildare. the spectators it is racing nirvana.
delivers the piece de resistance of the season giving
Tel: 045 897 704 vigour to the old truism of "saving the best until last".
Email: email@example.com The purest, most satisfying moment of any spectator MEMORIES
sport is when seeing it's best performers doing what In recent years there have been some truly
Website: www.punchestown.com memorable performances from such stars as
they do best, at their best, and the Spring Festival at
Punchestown delivers on that remit with exciting Istabraq, Moscow Flyer, Rhinestone Cowboy, Brave
results for the viewing public. Inca, Back in Front, Beef or Salmon and Hardy
Eustace - the roll of honour sounds like a racing
edition of Debretts. Like the Oscars Awards
60 COURSES FOR HORSES
Ceremony, all the stars turn up all the stars turn up Buck House, trained by Mouse Morris and ridden by La Touche Bar: On the ground level of the main
and perform for us in such prestigious events as the Tommy Carmody had won the Queen Mother grandstand.
Punchestown Guinness Gold Cup, Kerrygold Champion Champion Chase and was himself an outstanding
Double Bank Bar: Also on the ground level of the
Chase, Rabobank Champion Hurdle, Ladbrokes.com champion. O'Neill was injured and the trainer's son
World Series Stayers Hurdle, Ballymore Champion Tony who had ridden the mare to many of her wins
Four Year Old Hurdle – the list of big races goes on. before Cheltenham was back on board. The story of Tote Sports Lounge: This new bar is on the second
You simply can't ask for any more from a festival. the race was that Dawn Run led until Buck House level of the main grandstand. Equipped to facilitate
challenged her and took the lead coming to the fans of sports who want to see the golf, soccer or
DAWN RUN VERSUS BUCK HOUSE second last fence but Mullins galvanised the mare at tennis action in between races. Fitted out with soft,
Down the years there have been many, many great the last and she went on to record a famous victory. comfortable furnishings and a wall of wide-screen
days at this mecca of jump racing but the meeting of Both gladiators returned to a deeply appreciative televisions.
Dawn Run and Buck House on April 23rd in 1986 reception from the enormous crowd. It was a
Lawlors Bar: This convenient bar is located on the
must rate a position in the top one! The idea had been momentous day, not just in Irish racing history but
second level of the main grandstand just a flight away
the brainchild of legendary trainer Vincent O'Brien and Irish sporting history and one about which people can
from all the action but a bit more relaxed than the
though such match races seldom happen this one proudly say they were there and tell their
ground floor bars. It also serves hot and cold snacks.
famously came to pass. The crowds gathered in a grandchildren about.
zealous devotion not seen since the royal visit almost
120 years previously. The attraction of this match-up REFRESHMENT FACILITIES
for the public was not hard to comprehend. One De Robeck Restaurant: Overlooking the parade ring
month earlier Dawn Run, trained by Paddy Mullins is a buffet restaurant with its own bar and tote betting
and ridden by Jonjo O'Neill had won the Cheltenham facilities.
Gold Cup with a courageous effort that made her a
Self-service restaurant: Adjacent to the parade ring
national hero. At the same meeting fellow Irish steed
with a wide choice of hot and cold meals.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 61
The first recorded Races were based on a Racing continued in In 1860 the organisers However,
race meeting at cross-country style back this fashion until 1850 decided that permanent Punchestown still
Punchestown was in then, each one involving when so me members stands and enclosures retains the great
1824 when the racing the negotiation of of the Kildare Hunt should be erected and spectacle of the old
was quite different to obstacles that were part wisely decided to take artificial fences created fashioned racing of yore
what we are used to of the local terrain such over the location for its to facilitate some over banks and walls
today. as single/double banks annual race meeting. shorter races. By 1865 with the Avon Rí La
and stone walls and the two-day meeting Touche Cup and the
were staged over was drawing a crowd Ladies Cup run at the
distances of four miles of 40,000 and more. Spring Festival, making
and more. for a great spectacle.
Remarkably, Risk of
DID YOU KNOW?
Thunder, owned by
actor Sean Connery
won the La Touche
Cup seven consecutive
QUICK FACTS ABOUT
CORPORATE HOSPITALITY APRÈS RACING LOCAL PUBS
Panoramic Restaurant: Offers spectacular views The Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens in Bardons, Kilcullen
of the racecourse and a full 4-course menu with a Kildare town is certainly worth a visit to see some Bill McCormacks, Naas
wide choice of dishes. Packages are available for of the best stallions in Ireland. Stately homes, Graces, Naas
groups. Russborough House and Castletown House are also Ivy Inn, Naas
worth seeing. There are also plentiful opportunities for Kavanaghs, Naas
Private Suites: Each suite has its own private bar,
golf, fishing and pony trekking.
viewing terrace with ready access to Tote facilities.
The Chairman's Suite on the 2nd floor can
accommodate up to 60 guests. The Panoramic Suites LOCAL HOTELS
on the top floor are ideal for more intimate gatherings Dunboyne Castle Hotel 01 8053 100
Kildare Hotel and Country Club, Straffan 01 6017 200 .
and accommodate up to 15 guests.
Killashee House Hotel, outside Naas 045 879 277
A selection of corporate hospitality packages are Lawlors Hotel, Naas 045 906 444
available for the Festival Village at the Spring National
Ballymore Inn, Ballymore Eustace
DISABLED FACILITIES Butt Mullins, Naas
The racecourse is completely wheelchair friendly Johnstown Inn, Johnstown
with reserved areas overlooking the parade ring and Lemongrass, Naas
racecourse. Lifts provide access to all levels of the Silken Thomas, Kildare
grandstand. There is also a reserved car park for The Thatch, Ballymore Eustace
disabled racegoers close to the entrance.
62 COURSES FOR HORSES
In 1868 "Every residence in the
the presence at neighbourhood, from
Punchestown of the that of peer down to
Prince of Wales, the peasant, bore evidence
future King Edward VII of the approaching
drew a crowd that was meeting for days
reckoned to be 150,000, previous, and every
which if accurate is the train has the brougham,
biggest crowd to ever family omnibus or
attend a racemeeting private car awaiting its
in the world. A local arrival with the visitors
newspaperman of to partake of Kildare
the time wrote: hospitality during the
meeting and to judge by
the highway one could
suppose Dublin to be
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 63
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES CURRAGHROE
(Gaelic: Ros Comain. Meaning: The Grove of Coman) ROSCOMMON
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 09066 63 494 or 26 231 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
www.roscommonraces.ie County: Roscommon
A DAY AT ROSCOMMON RACECOURSE REVEALS THE PLEASURE
TO BE HAD IN THE SOMETIMES HIDDEN PARTS OF IRELAND.
There are 9 meetings annually at Roscommon
from May until October featuring mostly
Summer evening meetings providing a great
location for family outings.
Sunday meeting €15
Students & OAPs €8
Sunday meeting Image €10
Children under 14 Free
Roscommon Racecourse, Lenabane,
Racecourse Road, Roscommon, Co. Roscommon.
Tel: 09066 63 494 or 26 231
Fax: 09066 304 462
64 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated about 1km from By Road: Roscommon is 76 By Rail: Regular train By Air: Galway is the
Roscommon town on the km north-east of Galway service from Dublin closest airport with daily
Dublin-Castlebar Road city and 136 km west of (Heuston) to Roscommon flights from Dublin and
(N60). Dublin. station. Taxi service from regular flights from several
there to the racecourse. UK destinations.
The course is right-handed, of one mile and two furlongs
in length with a marked incline to the winning post.
ROSCOMMON REVEALED CORPORATE FACILITIES QUICK FACTS ABOUT ROSCOMMON
Roscommon is a favourite course with trainers There are hospitality rooms available to cater for
The first recorded race 1996 Cheltenham Gold Cup
for introducing talented, inexperienced young horses 20-60 people and there is also space for a tented meeting took place in 1837. It winner Imperial Call ran in
to racing and if you keep a close watch at the course village on site. was organised by the British his first novice chase at
you will see some stars of the future competing there military which had a base in Roscommon, and finished
(see below). The racing consists of good quality, full the town then. only third. 1999 Ascot Gold
OTHER/DISABLED FACILITIES Cup winner Enzeli (Ireland's
fields featuring lively betting markets and the view There is a designated disabled viewing area Racing officially began first winner of the race since
of the racecourse from the stands and enclosures in the stands. there in 1885 and with the 1969) won a race at
is excellent, making it very spectator friendly. The exception of a 12 year period Roscommon the year before
€40,000 Grade 3 EBS Kilbegnet Novice Chase, run at (1936-48) has continued ever his famous triumph.
the October meeting is the feature race of the year LOCAL HOTELS since.
Abbey Hotel, Roscommon 0906 626 240 The course won the
at the course. Famous horses to run 2004 Stable Staff Award for
Coachmans Inn, Roscommon 0906 626 459 there include:
After the racing there is a great atmosphere in the the most improved
Gleesons Hotel, Roscommon 0906 626 954
racecourse in Ireland.
local pubs and hotels (of the sort that you only get Hannons Hotel, Roscommon 0906 637 644
in the smaller towns in Ireland) and even more so Red Parrot, Roscommon
during the 2-day meetings in June and July. A day Coachmans Inn, Roscommon
at Roscommon racecourse reveals the pleasure to
be had in the sometimes hidden parts of Ireland. APRÈS RACING
Nearby Lough Key Forest Park, County Heritage
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES LOCAL PUBS Centre in Strokestown, fishing and cruises on the
There is a spacious dining room, self-service River Shannon and horseriding.
Central Bar, Roscommon
restaurant, snack bar, tea room and several bars.
Railway Bar, Roscommon
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 65
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
(Gaelic: An Sligeach. Meaning: Abounding in Shells) KILLARGA
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 071 918 3342/071 916 2484 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2 GALWAY
www.countysligoraces.com County: Sligo
IT'S ONE OF THOSE RARE PLACES WHERE THE JOURNEY TO AND FROM
(PASSING THROUGH SOME OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COUNTRYSIDE IN IRELAND)
IS IN ITSELF PLEASURABLE.
There are nine fixtures each year at Sligo, the
first in early May and concluding with a two
day fixture at the end of September/start of
October. There are two Sunday fixtures and six
week day fixtures.
OAPs & Students €10
Special discounts are offered for groups.
Coach tours welcome.
Cleveragh Road, Sligo.
Tel/Fax: 071 916 2484/071 918 3342
66 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated at Cleveragh 1km By Road: Sligo is located 137 By Rail: Dublin By Bus: Local bus service By Air: The closest
from Sligo town centre, just km north east of Galway (Connolly Station) to Sligo. with stops adjacent to airports are Strandhill
off the Pearse Road. and 217 km west of Dublin. Taxi service from Sligo enclosure. airport (10km) and Knock
Station to the racecourse. international (56km)
airport with daily flights
from Dublin. Knock also
has a service from Liverpool.
There are helicopter landing
facilities at the racecourse
(to be arranged in advance).
Sligo is a right-handed course of 1 mile in length
with a steady incline from halfway to the finish line.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT SLIGO
Racing has taken place was no racing for the 13
in Cleveragh since 1955, but years preceding the opening
there is a tradition of racing of the present course.
in the area dating back to
1781, when racing was first The programme at all
recorded at Bowmore on meetings is comprised of
Rosses Point. It was written Flat and National Hunt
in the Sligo Journal of the (jump) races.
races in 1893 that the
Among the top-class
"beauty and fashion of the
horses to run at Sligo are
SLIGO REVEALED onto the reserved balcony of the stand, betting county attended the races".
Jazz Princess, who later went
Sligo racecourse is nestled among some of the most facilities and close circuit television. on to win a Group 3 race at
Nothing has changed then
scenic countryside imaginable with the mountains in the meantime! For the the Curragh in 2004 and
Benbulben and Knocknarea looking down from either next hundred years the races became one of the best
APRÈS RACING two-year-olds in Ireland.
side of the town. The area is considered as one of the There is much to do after or indeed before racing were halted intermittently
because of political turmoil Brewster, one of the top
unheralded beauty spots of Ireland and it’s certainly around Sligo. There are hundreds of archaeological novice hurdlers in Britain in
and/or faction fighting and
worth the effort to get to Sligo racecourse for one of sites to visit in the area and miles of idyllic sandy 2005 won a bumper at Sligo
in 1898 moved to a site at
its nine fixtures. beaches to explore. For the younger, more energetic Hazelwood until 1942. There in 2002.
It’s one of those rare places where the journey to and types those beaches also have some of the best
from (passing through some of the most beautiful surfing in the country, dude. Sligo is, of course Markree Castle 071 9167800
countryside in Ireland) is in itself pleasurable. The where the brothers William and Jack Butler Yeats Radisson Hotel 071 9140008
racing is exciting with competitive cards making for spent much of their time and from where they Sligo Park Hotel 071 9190400
very lively betting markets especially the early August derived much of their creative influences. William Sligo City Hotel 071 9144000
meetings which feature a continuation of Summer regarded it as the "Land of Heart's Desire". Their The Glasshouse 071 9194300
festivities from the nearby Galway races. influence on the town's art world is immense: there
is a W.B. Yeats society based in the town and much of LOCAL RESTAURANTS
Jack B. Yeats' work is displayed in the local Municipal Bistro Bianconi 071 9141744
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Art Gallery. There are also ample opportunities for
The track has a spacious bar, self service restaurant Clevery Mill 071 9127424
angling, golfing and pony trekking. Cromleach Lodge 071 9165155
and snack bar.
Molly Fultons 071 9160027
LOCAL HOTELS The Belfry 071 9161250
CORPORATE FACILITIES Castle Dargan 071 9118080 The Embassy 071 9161250
The Cleveragh Room can cater for groups of 50 The Madarin Court 071 9142568
Clarion Hotel 071 9119000
people and features its own viewing area, an exit The Waterfront 071 9177122
Cromleach Lodge 071 9165155
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 67
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES BORRISOLEIGH
(Gaelic: An Durlas Éire. Meaning: The Stronghold)
Contact: Course Info: N
Tel: 0504 22 253 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
HORSE AND JOCKEY
www.thurlesraces.ie County: Tipperary CASHEL CORK
PROPER DYED IN THE WOOL, QUALITY JUMP RACING TO WARM THE COCKLES OF
YOUR HEART IS WHAT YOU WILL FIND ON A JAUNT TO THURLES RACECOURSE.
There are 11 fixtures held at Thurles every year
in the Spring and Autumn/Winter. Most of the
meetings are on Thursdays so make sure you
can get off work to go, it's a great way to begin
your weekend racing as forays. Remember, it's
Thurles on Thursdays.
Students & OAPs Half-price
Under 14's Free
Discount available for pre-booked groups
of 20 or more.
The Racecourse, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.
Tel: 0504 22 253
Fax: 0504 24 565
68 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated 1.5 km west of By Road: Thurles is 16 km By Rail: There is a regular By Air: Shannon (approx
Thurles town, 8 km west of north of Cashel, 48 km west train service from Dublin 80 km away) is the nearest
the main Cork-Dublin road. of Kilkenny and 64 km east (Heuston) and Cork to airport. Helicopter landing
of Limerick. Thurles Station. There is a at the course can be
free minibus service from arranged in advance.
the station to the
An undulating right-handed oval course of one mile and
two furlongs with an uphill climb to the winning post.
THURLES REVEALED REFRESHMENT FACILITIES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT THURLES
Proper dyed in the wool, quality jump racing to warm Self-service restaurant, several bars and a tea room.
The earliest recording the Kinloch Brae Chase 3
the cockles of your heart is what you will find on a of race meetings in Thurles times in succession (2002-
jaunt to Thurles racecourse. Its Gaelic translation, as CORPORATE FACILITIES is 1732 when a three-day 04). Also won the Grade 1
above, is stronghold and this course is certainly a Hospitality room which can cater for 50-100 people. meeting was held there. Melling Chase at Aintree
fortress for action packed, quality jump racing, where twice.
Famous horses to have
it's very likely that you will see a future Cheltenham run at Thurles in recent Rule Supreme. The winner
or Punchestown winner in action. The town of Thurles LOCAL HOTELS
years include: of the 2004 Grade 1 Sun
and the surrounding area is one of the best locations Anner Hotel, Thurles 0504 21 799 Alliance Chase at
Cashel Palace Hotel, Cashel 062 62 707 Klairon Davis, winner of the Cheltenham and 2005
for country pursuits in Ireland, and has a populace
Dundrum House Hotel, Dundrum 062 71 116 Arkle and Champion Chases Grade 1 Hennessy Gold
that loves its sport, be it hunting, greyhounds or their at Cheltenham.
Horse and Jockey, Thurles 0504 44 192 Cup at Leopardstown.
Native Upmanship. A Vintage Crop. Melbourne
And Thurles is an enthusiasts' course, nothing flashy standing dish at Thurles and Cup winner. Won his debut
or snazzy about it but it's all about the horses and a real favourite there, won here.
Chez Hans, Cashel 062 61 177
when you are there you can't help but get caught up
Inch House, Thurles 0504 51 348
in that enthusiasm, that anticipation engendered by a
Mitchel House, Thurles 0504 90 776 APRÈS RACING
novice hurdle or chase and the thought that one of
Rolys at Park Avenue, Thurles 0504 58 658 There are lots of equestrian activities to pursue in the
these horses could be a future festival winner. The
area including hunting and pleasure riding. For golfers
Grade 2 €50,000 Kinloch Brae Chase in late
LOCAL PUBS there is an excellent 18-hole course in Thurles.
January/early February is the highlight of the year at
the course and always attracts a top-class field. Arch Bar, Thurles 0504 22 250
Doyle Pub, Urlingford 056 88 31184
Eddie Joe’s, Templemore 0504 32 272
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 69
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
(Gaelic: Tiobraid Arainn. Meaning: The Spring of Ara) R66
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 062 51 357 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
Website: www.tipperaryraces.ie County: Tipperay
"IT'S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY". SO THE POPULAR 1912 SONG WENT BUT IN FACT,
IT'S MUCH NEARER THAN YOU THINK, IS VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD TO GET TO AND
WORTH IT WHEN YOU DO.
There are 12 fixtures held every year at
Tipperary including many very enjoyable
Summer Evening Meetings, where there is a
lively atmosphere. Like its county neighbour
Thurles, most of it's meetings are on Thursdays
so, repeat the mantra, Thursdays For Tipperary.
Students & OAPs Image €10
Children Under 14 Free
Tipperary Racecourse, Limerick Junction,
Tel: 062 51 357
70 COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
Situated 3 km west of By Road: 37 km east of By Rail: Regular train By Air: Shannon
Tipperary town on the Limerick City and 100km services from both Dublin international airport is
Tipperary-Limerick road. north of Cork City. (Heuston Station) and Cork 60km west. Helicopter
to Limerick Junction landing at the course can be
Station, which is within arranged in advance.
easy walking distance of
A flat, left-handed course of one mile and two furlongs
in length with a chute for five furlong races.
TIPPERARY REVEALED The main attraction is the Grade 2 Tipperary Hurdle DISABLED FACILITIES
"It's a long way to Tipperary". So the popular 1912 which has been contested by such stars as Istabraq, There are male and female disabled toilets, a viewing
song went, but in fact, as shown above, it's much Limestone Lad, Accordion Etoile and Harchibald. area overlooking the parade ring and race course.
nearer than you think, is very straightforward to get There is also access to the bar and restaurant.
to and worth it when you do. Tipperary is a county REFRESHMENT FACILITIES
steeped in every facet of horse tradition, from the A recently refurbished self-service restaurant plus the LOCAL HOTEL
world famous Coolmore Stud to the volume of Winning Post and Istabraq Bars which also serve a Aherlow House Hotel, Glen of Aherlow 052 56 153
outstanding horsemen to have come from there range of snacks. Ballykisteen Hotel & Golf Resort
and this racecourse, as its centrepiece, reflects this (opposite racecourse) 062 33 333
tradition providing high-class racing both on the flat Cashel Palace Hotel, Cashel 062 62 707
and over jumps. The Woodlands House Hotel, Adare 061 605100
The recently renovated High Chaparral Dining Room
During the Spring and Summer meetings it is possible can cater for groups from 10-170 with facilities
to see future champions in action. Recent top class including CCTV, Tote betting and a choice of silver LOCAL RESTAURANTS
performers to have won at Tipperary include 2008 service or buffet style dining. The room overlooks the Ballykisteen Golf and Country Club (opposite racecourse)
Champion 2-year-old Bush Ranger, Dual Breeders’ parade ring and racecourse. Bit and Bridle Bar/Restaurant (opposite racecourse)
Cup Winner High Chaparral and other Group 1 Mary Hanna’s, Tipperary
Winners, Heat Seeker, Hawk Wing, Yesterday and Irish OTHER FACILITIES Stables Restaurant, Tipperary
Derby Winner, Dylan Thomas. But the course saves There is on-course entertainment for children
the best for last in the form of “Super Sunday”, held at all evening and Sunday meetings.
on the first Sunday in October, their last meeting of
the year. This is the highest quality National Hunt and
Flat meeting staged in the country featuring a
plethora of high-class that attract some of the best
horses around including some from Britain.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 71
The Bit and Bridle, Limerick Junction.
The Hideout, Sologhead.
Places to visit include the scenic Glen of Aherlow, Mitchelstown Caves, Cahir
Castle. There are also opportunities for fishing, golf and shooting.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT TIPPERARY
The first meeting of The first race meeting on The name was changed The only racecourse in
Tipperary races was at the present site (Limerick from Limerick Junction to Ireland to stage a graded Flat
Barronstown Course in March Junction) was in September Tipperary in 1986. and National Hunt on the
1848. These races were 1916. same card.
abandoned in 1871/72 due to
an outbreak of smallpox but
were revived in 1881.
72 COURSES FOR HORSES
CARRICK ON SUIR
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES SLIEVEROE
CORK PASSAGE ARTHURSTOWN
(Gaelic: Tra Mor. Meaning: The Long Strand)
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 051 381 425 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
www.tramore-racecourse.com County: Waterford
TRAMORE AND WATERFORD PEOPLE IN GENERAL ARE AN ENTHUSIASTIC RACING
CROWD AND THIS, COUPLED WITH A STRONG FOLLOWING FROM SURROUNDING
COUNTIES, ENSURES A GOOD ATMOSPHERE AT ALL THE MEETINGS.
There are 11 fixtures during the year,
the highlights being the New Year's Eve/Day
and August Festival meetings.
Students & OAPs €8-10
Accompanied children under 16 Free
Group discounts / Annual Badge available.
Please contact the racecourse office.
Waterford and Tramore Racecourse,
Tramore, Co. Waterford.
Tel: 051 381 425
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 73
Location How to get there
Situated 13 km from By Road: 112 km south-east By Rail: Trains to Plunkett By Air: Waterford airport is
Waterford city and 1 km of Cork and 170 km south of station in Waterford just 12 km away with daily
outside the town of Dublin. When coming from originate at Dublin flights from London Luton,
Tramore. Cork follow signposts for Heuston, Limerick and Manchester and
Tramore located a few miles Rosslare. There is a regular Birmingham airports,
before the city. All other bus service between the www.aerarann.ie
routes come over the bridge station and Tramore.
into Waterford City and
follow signs for Tramore.
The course is a right-handed, turning undulating track of
one mile in length with an uphill climb to the winning
TRAMORE REVEALED REFRESHMENT FACILITIES DISABLED FACILITIES
Tramore racecourse is where the turf meets the surf The Inside Track bar has a cozy, intimate atmosphere All areas of the course are wheelchair accessible
and it is one of the most intimate stages for racing with a large conservatory and a capacity of 600. The with wheelchair accessible toilets. There is also
in Ireland. The 4-day mid-August festival Front Room is a comfortable setting for 250 people a baby changing facility.
(incorporating 3 evening meetings) has everything with panoramic views of Tramore Bay and the Graun
a summer racing festival should have: sun (usually), Hill Suite is the latest addition, providing a smaller LOCAL HOTELS
sea, sand, spectacular racing and anything else that intimate room for 50 people. There is also a self- Grand Hotel, Tramore 051 381 414
takes your fancy on a hot summers day. It offers a service and a take-away restaurant. Additionally there Granville Hotel, Waterford 051 855 111
great opportunity to take a racing holiday because is always live music after the racing. Majestic Hotel, Tramore 051 381 761
of the great amenities on your doorstep in Tramore, O'Shea's Hotel, Tramore 051 381 246
one of the premier seaside resorts in Ireland. CORPORATE FACILITIES Tower Hotel, Waterford 051 875 801
You won't have to work so hard to keep the children For the four days of the August Festival meeting Waterford Castle, Waterford 051 878 203
amused before or after the racing because they are the Front Room can be hired for groups of up to 200.
catered for like at no other venue in the Tramore A three-course buffet meal service is available LOCAL RESTAURANTS
funfair and amusement park. During the Winter throughout the day and afternoon tea will be served The Esquire, Tramore
holiday season the first day of the 2-day New Year's after the fifth race. A private bar will be available until The Ship, Dunmore East
Eve/Day meeting is a great place to start off those one hour after the last race. Private Tote and CCTV The Vee Bistro, Tramore
end of year festivities and the following day an even facilities are available.
better place to finish them off in style. Tramore and
Waterford people in general are an enthusiastic racing
crowd and this, coupled with a strong following from
surrounding counties, ensures a good atmosphere at
all the meetings. The racing is an even mix of flat and
74 COURSES FOR HORSES
QUICK FACTS ABOUT TRAMORE
Racing in Tramore Then in 1888 a The course underwent a The 1983 English Derby
originally began on the beach race committee under €5 million complete runner-up Carlingford Castle
back in 1785 and had become Martin J Murphy renovated refurbishment in 1997 under was galloped the 'wrong way
so popular with the locals the facilities and revived the new ownership of local round' at Tramore
that a 6-day meeting was the racing. However, the racing enthusiasts. It beforehand in preparation for
held there in 1807 in mid- course and facilities were in continues to go from strength the big race. The reason his
August (a tradition that constant danger from stormy to strength. trainer Liam Browne did this
continues to this day). seas and in 1911 the course is because going left-handed
was so badly breached that On 1 January 2002 Tramore at Tramore closely resembles
These early events time had to be called on was the first racecourse in (on a smaller scale) the
consisted of all flat races the event. Undeterred, Europe to use the Euro unique gradients of Epsom
but steeplechasing was soon the racecourse company currency and on 1 January racecourse. It nearly brought
incorporated into the fixture. established a new course 2000 held the first off a famous Irish win but
Racing continued at Graun Hill on the outskirts racemeeting of the new Teenoso and a certain Lester
uninterrupted until the 1860's of Tramore, where racing millenium in Europe when Piggott were just too good.
when disturbances at the continues to this day. a record crowd of 11,000
meetings led to the local turned up.
gentry withdrawing their
support. The first race
of the millenium,
The Mean Fiddler Handicap
Steeplechase was won by No
Problem, trained in Cork by
Gerard Cully, owned by
Tommy Cronin and ridden by
Waterford jockey Shay Barry.
St Leger, Tramore
Victoria House (The Vic), Tramore
There are 16 fine golf courses within a 60 km radius
of Tramore including renowned local courses at Tramore,
Waterford Castle and Faithlegg. Tramore holiday resort is
within walking distance of the course and there are many
villages along the picturesque Waterford coastline worth
visiting. There are also numerous places of archaeological
interest locally, especially in Waterford City.
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 75
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES NEW ROSS N25
(Gaelic: Loch Garman. Meaning: The Sea Washed Place)
Contact: Course Info:
Tel: 053 9142307 National Hunt & Flat / Grade 2
www.wexfordraces.ie County: Wexford QUAY
THE RACING INVARIABLY FEATURES LARGE FIELDS OF COMPETITIVE FLAT
AND JUMP RACING WITH THE TOP JOCKEYS FROM BOTH CODES IN ACTION.
There are 11 fixtures held every year in
There are 7 meetings each evening Summer
Wexford including 5 Friday year at Sligo,
the first in late April and concluding in
meetings, which are an absolute treat. There is
mid-August. All but are evening meetings
simply no finer place1to be in the country than
(and that's such an occasion.
Wexford onon a Sunday) so there is no excuse
for not being able to get there.
OAPS & Students €8
Children under 14 €12
Students & O.A.P's €8
Discounts available for pre-booked
groups of 10 or more people.
Students & O.A.P's €10
Newtown Road, Wexford.
Special discounts are offered 9143853
Non race day phone/fax: 053 for groups
of 10 and over. Coach tours are
Raceday phone: 053 9142307 welcome.
Fax: 053 9143702
Cleveragh, Sligo,Co. Sligo
76 A COURSES FOR HORSES
Location How to get there
The racecourse is located By Road: Racecourse is 48 By Rail: The nearest railway By Air: The closest airport is
just outside Wexford town km East of Waterford City station is in Wexford town Waterford (57 km west).
off the Dublin-Rosslare and 24 km North-West of from where there is a taxi Regular service from Luton
bypass. Rosslare Ferry Port. service to the racecourse. to Waterford airport.
Regular rail service from Helicopter landing can be
Dublin. Tel Irish Rail pre-arranged at the
(Iarnrod Eireann) racecourse.
00 353 1 836 6222 for train
It is a gently undulating right-handed course of
one mile and two furlongs which features flat and
National Hunt (jump) racing.
WEXFORD REVEALED grounds is the Long Bar and a cafeteria serving tea, QUICK FACTS ABOUT WEXFORD
Wexford racecourse, and the county in general, coffee and hot snacks plus the Ivy Room Bar
The earliest record of Sinntara, owned by His
is a very friendly, welcoming place (they're used to incorporating a spacious carvery restaurant. racing in the area is in the Highness The Aga Khan, and
being invaded by outsiders such as Vikings and 1870s but these races had the dam of the 2000 Irish
Normans so they know how to deal with strangers). CORPORATE FACILITIES ceased by 1902. Derby and Prix de l'Arc de
Furthermore its located in one of the most pleasant Triomphe winner Sinndar,
The Carriglawn room can be used to cater for up to The present racecourse won a maiden race at
parts of the country, the sunny south-east. It's true! 100 people. at Bettyville was opened in Wexford in July 1992.
October 1951 when an
Wexford's average sunshine quota is 4.48 hours
estimated 17,000 people
per day against the national average of 3.75 hours WHEELCHAIR FACILITIES attended.
so it's much more likely to be sunny for your visit, There is a dedicated wheelchair viewing stand
whatever time of year that is. Even the name of its and are wheelchair friendly toilets in the Ivy Room. LOCAL HOTELS
location, Bettyville, has a titillating appeal that reflects Ferrycarrig Hotel, Wexford 1890 516 171
the feeling of bonhomie prevalent at the course. Maldron Hotel, Wexford 053 9172 000
APRÈS RACING Talbot Hotel, Wexford 1850 222 566
It's a fun course. The racing invariably features large There is much to see and do in the environs
The Riverside Park Hotel,
fields of competitive flat and jump racing with the top of Wexford. There are three local 18 hole golf
Enniscorthy 053 9237800
jockeys from both codes in action. There is also an courses: Wexford, St Helens and Rosslare, the latter
Whitford House Hotel, Wexford 053 9143 444
excellent view of the track from the stands. You will also features a 12-hole play anytime course. There
find that there is always a warm, lively atmosphere is much of archaelogical interest in Wexford town
in Wexford and afterwards in the local hostelries. and the local area plus a Heritage Centre in LOCAL RESTAURANTS
Ferrycarraig. Of more recent historical interest are the Footprints at Whitford House Hotel
John F Kennedy Arboretum and the Dunbrody Famine Fordes, Wexford
REFRESHMENT FACILITIES Heavens Above, Wexford
Ship, both in New Ross. Also extensive fishing in local
The main stand houses two bars upstairs, Mange 2, Wexford
rivers Slaney and Barrow in addition to sea fishing.
the Bettyville and Carriglawn bars. Also on the Riverside Park Hotel, Enniscorthy
A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 77
78 COURSES FOR HORSES
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A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES 79
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A GUIDE TO IRISH RACECOURSES
GALWAY Galway 28
KERRY Killarney 38
KILBEGGAN Kilbeggan 36
KILDARE The Curragh 11
DUBLIN Leopardstown 42
LIMERICK Limerick 47
MEATH Bellewstown 04
NORTH Down Royal 16
NORTH WEST Ballinrobe 02
- National Hunt & Flat
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- Flat Tramore 73
- National Hunt
TIPPERARY Clonmel 06
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