IRISH RACECOURSES (plus CHELTENHAM)
A (very) personal guide:
There are 26 courses in Ireland and I have been lucky enough to go to 21 of them. If you ever get the chance - please go. Click on the Green buttons to visit the racecourse websites
Probably my favourite course in Ireland. Very scenic and friendly with good amenities for a country course. Not a course for Bay of Freedom as it’s a little tight but it does have an uphill finish
Still to visit
Pretty industrial area although course is very friendly with good amenities for its grade. Some good racing and pretty fair r/h track. Make sure you leave early as car park exit is a bear (particularly if you want to go north)
If you go to Cork hoping to go racing you will be disappointed – it’s in Mallow. One of my luckier tracks (not saying much) On my first visit, two races were abandoned and they gave a 50% reduction. Can get very heavy and results don’t always translate elsewhere.
The flagship course for flat racing in Ireland and home of all five classics. That being said the amenities for the racegoer are very disappointing for a top class course – it could be so much more.
Yet to visit
Very pleased they have a large screen as you can't see half the course from the grandstand. Facilities are good though and a very fair, galloping course. (I just wish Bay of Freedom had runner better)
All weather flat racing only which is not my preference. However, it is an incredibly friendly place and you will never get closer to the action. When I and a few friends booked a table in the restaurant the menu said “Welcome Paul Leech and friends from America” Great customer service – fun time
If you end up in the middle of nowhere and see a racecourse then that would be Fairyhouse. Great viewing course and some really good quality racing over fences
How can I not love Galway after Bay of Freedom’s win? Gets really (and I mean really) busy and crazy at the Festival but great craic all the same. It’s pretty exposed up there and the weather can change quickly so be prepared
Just base yourself in Kilkenny and take in a days racing there.I always think I’m lost and then the course appears so don’t panic. Some good racing and pretty decent amenities.
Love Kilbeggan. Fairly tight track with uphill finish but lots of great viewing including from the bank (maybe it’s a hill) after the winning post. Stop for a tour of a distillery in Tullamore on your way.
Stayed in Killarney (recommend the Malton) but never been to the racecourse. The whole area is beautiful so you can’t be disappointed
Only in Ireland I’m tempted to say but then immediately think of horses racing on ice in Switzerland. At Laytown there is only one meeting a year and the time and date are determined by the high tide – the beach is cleared and the horses run on the sand. Unique
A traditional part of our October weekend and the course where I get more winners than anywhere else. While there is no explanation for that, there is one for Leopardstown popularity – top class racing whether it be flat or jumps
Student night at Limerick is one to avoid or embrace – your choice. Beautifully set in a valley the main stand is on hill looking down at the action. Great viewing and popular
Only has two meetings each year but one of them last for seven days in September. Scene of Bay of Freedom’s first run, it is a fair course if a little tight. Can get busy on the big race days
The course does not have the best amenities and it is a tough course suiting some horses and not others. Staying power, courage and determination are required to win races here. It’s a course I like and I’m not sure why.
Went on a windy Saturday afternoon for early season flat racing; it; soul destroying with only around 500 people there. Stick to the big meetings! Fair, galloping course but heavy ground in the winter at Navan will test the toughest of horses
The home of Irish jumping and I won’t hear a word said against it for very selfish reasons. It was the first course I went to after cancer and the prospect of being well enough to go to the Festival kept me going for months. Top class racing
Pretty fair track but , for me, not very memorable despite having been a couple of times. Racing is of average quality but it is a fair track
Out there in the North West, Sligo is a typical country course. It’s very tight but a good place to spend the afternoon and the area around there is beautiful.
Not had the pleasure of going. Will try to make it soon – ground likely to be heavy that day (it always is)
Very flat, very fair and with a pub opposite that offers good food and value accommodation.
A bit like Wexford with the housing abutting the track in the back straight. Sharp and fast – very friendly
A bit like Tramore! Probably a little less tight and definitely a lot more exposed