Curragh Racecourse

The Curragh is probably the most significant racecourse in Ireland. Dedicated to Flat horse racing and located in County Kildare. The Irish meaning of the Curragh means ‘place of the running horse’. This right-handed galloping course follows a horseshoe shape with a testing uphill finish. It has a full circuit of 2-miles and a 1-mile chute. Race distances range from 5f – 2-miles 1-furlong.

The Curragh racecourse has a long history dating back to 1727.

As any race fan know, this is the home of some truly amazing race including 5 Classics: Irish 1000 Guineas, Irish 2000 Guineas, Irish Derby, Irish Oaks & Irish St Leger. These Group 1 races have seen exceptional winners. Who could forget these 10 super stars:

Galileo – Irish Derby 2001

Nijinsky – Irish Derby 1970

Shergar – Irish Derby 1981

Salsabil – Irish Derby 1990

Attraction – Irish 1000 Guineas 2004

Ouij Board – Irish Oaks 2004

Camelot – Irish Derby 2012

Kingman – Irish 2000 Guineas 2014

Enable – Irish Oaks 2017

The Minstrel – Irish Derby 1997

Just a selection of personal favourites. Basically, the best horses to set hoof on track anywhere in the world.

The racing season starts in March and concludes in October. There are 23 days racing including 11 Group 1 races.

The first Irish Derby took place in 1866.

The Curragh Racecourse has ample horse training facilities covering 1500 acres. This includes 70 miles of turf gallops. In addition, 12 miles of peat gallops and 8 all-weather courses. There is an old woodchip gallop over 9-furlongs.

While horse racing is synonymous with The Curragh it has other notable landmarks including The Boardwalk and ‘Stairway to Heaven’, Cuilcagh Mountain, Giant’s Grave & Giant’s Cave, Marbel Arch Cave & Japanese Gardens.

The population of County Kildare is about 250,000. The average racecourse attendance for a major fixture such as the Irish Derby is 12,000.

The Curragh is the most famous of all Irish racecourses and well worth a visit. It has a rich history of racing and home of the Irish National Stud which houses some of the leading sires in the world Elusive Pimpernel, Equiano, Invincible Spirit, Lucky Vega, Mac Swiney, Nando Parrado & Pheonix Of Spain.

For more information take a look at The Curragh website or social media including Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin & Twitter.


cartmelCartmel Racecourse is located in Cartmel, Cumbria on the Scottish border and in the beautiful Lake District. As far as courses go it’s on the small side with only nine race days held here each year over the summer months, one of which is a three day Festival held in May. In July the Cumbria Crystal Hurdle Race is held there, worth £40,000+, it’s the biggest money race at Carmel. The racing calendar then winds down in August with the Cartmel Cup and Cavendish Cup steeplechase. The competitive races all take place on a left handed, undulating oval with a finishing straight. It features just six fences and is one mile and one furlong and a four furlong run-in.


Despite its size, attendance at the jump track is actually higher on race days than most tracks in the country, topping 20,000 plus at times. The course is rather distinctive in that it features a fairground on one side, and those attending can often be seen having picnics and enjoying the weather. There are plenty of food and drink stalls (try the Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding, local Michelin menus or a pint at the Unsworth’s Yard Brewery!). It’s nestled a short walk away from local village shops, so can form part of a family day out. An idyllic setting. In one form or another racing has taken place in Cartmel since or prior to 1856 and the course is famous for the Gay Future horse switching coup of 1974.

The thrill of a days racing in a picturesque setting appeals to both casual and serious racing fans alike, so it’s so surprise that the Cartmel racecourse itself states front and centre of what  ‘A Truly Unique Location’ the course is. It’s important to point out that, like many racecourses nowadays, the admissions gate is now cashless, though on site bookmakers accept both card and cash. Party tents and the like are available if you’re a group with deep enough pockets. There are plenty of options to get to the course (by car, coach etc) and a detailed map of the course is here.


The 2024 raceday fixtures are listed below:

Saturday 25th May

Bank Holiday Monday 27th May

Wednesday 29th May

Friday 28th June

Sunday 30th June

Saturday 20th July

Monday 22nd July

Saturday 24th August

Bank Holiday Monday 26th August


Contact details for the course:


  • 01539 536340
  • Cartmel Racecourse
  • Cartmel
  • Grange-over-Sands
  • Cumbria
  • LA11 6QF
  • UK


newcastle racecourseNewcastle Racecourse is located at Gosforth Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, and provides a great opportunity for those in the North East of England to watch thrilling on course racing action. Racing began in the area hundreds of years ago and it wasn’t until the now historic Northumberland Plate moved to Gosworth Park in 1882 that the course was born.

Newcastle Racecourse is dual-purpose venue (tapeta track), hosting both flat and national hunt racing events throughout the racing calendar. This ensures that the high quality races just keep on coming. For just a taste of that in February there’s the 4 miles and 112 furlongs Eider Chase (National Hunt), the aforementioned 2 miles and 56 yards Northumberland Plate (Flat) in June and the 2 miles and half a furlong Fighting Fifth Hurdle in November. The Northumberland Plate  weekend alone brings in tens of millions, telling you just how much benefit it is to both the course and the local economy.

They certainly know how to put on a show at Newcastle racecourse, and with the likes of Ladies Day, music themed race days (Gosforth Park Cup Night ft Madness Live After Racing for instance) and more besides. They even cheekily piggyback on the Grand National on 13th April by having a raceday where they also show the Grand National on giant screens around the course.

It doesn’t end there either. For those with deep pockets – or biggest organisations – there are venue hire options, there’s also annual course membership options that include guests passes and access to “500+ fixtures across Arena Racing Company racecourses” and even golf lessons and the like, for those looking to turn from punter to golf pro. The restaurant and hospitality options are second to none too, with private box options available offering “exceptional panoramic views of the racecourse” for reasonable prices. You can download the brochure here.

All in all Newcastle definitely looks like one of the more interesting race tracks to check out, and if past experiences of the area are anything to go by, I’m sure you can have a great night out after all!

Chelmsford City Racecourse

chelmsford cityChelmsford City Racecourse, set in Great Leighs, Essex, is one of the ‘new kids on the block’ in terms of UK racecourses. Opened in April 2008 it lacks some of the history of courses that go back centuries, but was seen as a chance to bring racing to a new geographical audience, on account of the lack of race tracks in the area. The brainchild of entrepreneur John Holmes, after a series of postponements the first meeting was held on 20th April 2008. Unfortunately attendence was low and facilities criticised. In January of the next year the course went into administration. It wasn’t until 2015, after several deals fell through, that it resumed once again after Fred Done (Betfred Owner) bought the track.

Fast forward to now and the venue was a new lease of life. In addition to the televised races (on the 8.5 furlong oval – which has a 2-furlong home straight) the course hosts private events, music and events (Ministry of Sound, Fireworks Night, Ladies Day featuring Beverley Knight to name a few) as well as Christmas parties and bespoke packages. Membership of the course – which comes with exclusive benefits – is available too.

Cheltenham is home to some must-see races on its polytrack, such as April’s Cardinal Stakes flat race, as well as listed races such as May’s Chelmer Fillies Stakes, and June’s Queen Charlotte Fillies’ Stakes. The official Cheltenham City Racecourse website is as modern as any racecourse site I’ve seen and you can search through and book events and race days directly with them. It’s great to see the course go from struggling to thriving, and for those looking to watch competitive all-weather racing in the South of England to have a top class course to go to. Casual and serious horse racing fans alike would benefit from checking it out.


Leopardstown Racecourse

leopardstown racecourseLeopardstown Racecourse, also known to some as Ballinlore, is in Leopardstown just a few miles away from Dublin City Centre. Home to both flat and national hunt racing, there is something on the racing calendar for all fans of the sport.  It hosts a significant number of noteworthy races including the Irish Champion Stakes and the Dublin Racing Festival. All in all 23 fixtures.  Others include the Ballylinch Stud Classic Trials, the Irish Champions Weekend and the Christmas Festival. There’s even a popular Student Race Day aimed at getting young people interested in horse racing. These events fit hand in glove with the course and bring the very best of racing to the watching public, both on course and at home.

The racecourse’s facilities and entertainment offerings tick every box too. Designed to cater to all from the racing purist to families looking to have a fun day out, there really is something for everyone. The likes of the vibrant Carnival de Leop and live music at Bulmbers Live add a new and welcome dimension to a day at the races. Upcoming events can be viewed on the official website here.

On top of this there’s the usual hospitality, as well as dining options in the 1888 Restaurant, The Pavilion and The Panoramic, which offers stunning balcony views of the racing action.

Being so close to Dublin City center makes it a convenient destination for race goers. There are plenty of public transport options to get you there, and ample parking for those driving to the venue. The dual purpose track itself is a left handed galloping track of 1m 6f. From home turn to finishing post is a short 2 and a half furlongs. As a chase course there are ten hurdles. If you happen to be in the area, or intend to travel to Leopardstown racecourse you’re unlikely to be disappointed!

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