Curragh Racecourse

Last updated

The Curragh
Location Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
Coordinates 53°9′55″N6°50′43″W / 53.16528°N 6.84528°W / 53.16528; -6.84528 Coordinates: 53°9′55″N6°50′43″W / 53.16528°N 6.84528°W / 53.16528; -6.84528
Race typeThoroughbred Flat
Notable races
  • Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1)
  • Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1)
  • Irish Derby (G1)
  • Irish Oaks (G1)
  • Irish St. Leger (G1)
Official website

The Curragh Racecourse -- usually referred to as simply the Curragh -- is one of Ireland's most important Thoroughbred racecourses. It is situated on the Curragh plain in County Kildare, between the towns of Newbridge and Kildare. [1]



"The Curragh race course", a 19th-century print The Curragh race course, County Kildare Ireland LCCN2003677593.jpg
"The Curragh race course", a 19th-century print

The name "Curragh" comes from the Irish language word Cuirreach, meaning "place of the running horse". [2] The first recorded race on the plain took place in 1727, but it was used for races before then. [3] The first Derby was held in 1866, [4] and in 1868 the Curragh was officially declared a horse racing and training facility by act of parliament.

Racecourse redevelopment

Redevelopment of the Curragh grandstand and racecourse facilities began in 2017 with completion due in time for commencement of the 2019 Irish Flat season. A truncated racing fixture list continued to be held at the course during this period with temporary facilities in place for the public. [5]


The Curragh is a right-handed track, [6] horseshoe and galloping in nature with a testing uphill finish. [7] The track spans two miles in distance with a one-mile chute. [8] It is home to all five Irish Flat Classics. [9]

Johnny Murtagh has had more than 300 wins at the Curragh. Johnny-Murtagh20111204.jpg
Johnny Murtagh has had more than 300 wins at the Curragh.
Top jockeyWinsRides %
Johnny Murtagh3301,94317
Mick Kinane3271,96817
Kevin Manning2562,60010
Pat Smullen2382,27510
Christy Roche16089118
Trainer A. P. O'Brien has had more than 600 wins at the course. AP O'Brien.jpg
Trainer A. P. O'Brien has had more than 600 wins at the course.
Top trainerWinsRuns %
A. P. O'Brien6093,26219
J. S. Bolger3913,55811
D. K. Weld3403,20311
John M. Oxx3302,32114
Kevin Predergast1962,3618

Training grounds

The Curragh training grounds provide trainers with the opportunity to prepare their horses on approximately 1,500 acres of training facilities.[ citation needed ] In addition to 70 miles of turf gallops, [10] there are approximately 12 miles of peat gallops and eight all-weather tracks available to work on.[ citation needed ]

Previous champion horses

Numerous elite level racehorses have run at the course prior to becoming multiple Group One winners around the world. Due to the fair nature of the track, the course has a reputation for attracting high quality two-year old runners in particular, with many making their first racecourse appearances at the Curragh.

2009 World Champion Sea The Stars trained on the Curragh by John Oxx Sts york.jpg
2009 World Champion Sea The Stars trained on the Curragh by John Oxx
HorseTrainerJockeyRace WonYear
NijinskyM. V. O'BrienL. WardIrish Derby1970
The MinstrelM. V. O'BrienL. PiggottIrish Derby1977
Storm BirdM. V. O'BrienT. MurphyNational Stakes1980
ShergarM. StouteL. PiggottIrish Derby1981
El Gran SenorM. V. O'BrienP. EdderyNational Stakes / Irish Derby1983/1984
Sadlers WellsM. V. O'BrienG. McGrathIrish 2,000 Guineas1984
Vintage CropD. K. WeldM. J. KinaneIrish St Leger1993/1994
SalsabilJ. DunlopW. CarsonIrish Derby1990
Rodrigo De TrianoP. Chapple HyamJ. ReidIrish 2,000 Guineas1992
Ridgewood PearlJohn OxxJ. P. MurtaghIrish 1,000 Guineas1995
Kayf TaraSaeed Bin SuroorFrankie DettoriIrish St Leger1998/1999
MontjeuJ. HammondCash AsmussenIrish Derby1999
SinndarJohn OxxJ. P. MurtaghNational Stakes / Irish Derby1999/2000
Hawk WingA. P. O'BrienM. J. KinaneNational Stakes2001
GalileoA. P. O'BrienM. J. KinaneIrish Derby2001
Vinnie RoeD. K. WeldP. J. SmullenIrish St Leger2001/2002/2003/2004
High ChapparalA. P. O'BrienM. J. KinaneIrish Derby2002
Rock of GibralterA. P. O'BrienM. J. KinaneIrish 2,000 Guineas2002
AttractionMark JohnstonKevin DarleyIrish 1,000 Guineas2004
Ouija BoardEd DunlopL. DettoriIrish Oaks2004
DubawiSaeed Bin SuroorL. DettoriNational Stakes2004
George WashingtonA. P. O'BrienKieren FallonNational Stakes2005
Hurricane RunAndre FabreKieren FallonIrish Derby2005
TeofiloJ. S. BolgerKevin ManningNational Stakes2006
Dylan ThomasA. P. O'BrienKieren FallonIrish Derby2006
New ApproachJ. S. BolgerKevin ManningNational Stakes2007
YeatsA. P. O'BrienKieren FallonIrish St Leger2007
Halfway To HeavenA. P. O'BrienSeamus HeffernanIrish 1,000 Guineas2008
CamelotA. P. O'BrienJ. P. O'BrienIrish Derby2012
AustraliaA. P. O'BrienJ. P. O'BrienIrish Derby2014
KingmanJ. GosdenJames DoyleIrish 2,000 Guineas2014
MindingA. P. O'BrienSeamus HeffernanMoyglare Stud Stakes2015
WinterA. P. O'BrienRyan MooreIrish 1,000 Guineas2017
EnableJ. GosdenL. DettoriIrish Oaks2017
Alpha CentauriJessica HarringtonColm O'DonoghueIrish 1,000 Guineas2018

Notable races

MonthDOWRace NameTypeGradeDistanceAge/Sex
MarchSunday Park Express Stakes FlatGroup 31m 3yo + f
AprilSunday Gladness Stakes FlatGroup 37f 3yo +
MayMonday Athasi Stakes FlatGroup 37f 3yo +
MayMonday Mooresbridge Stakes FlatGroup 31m 2f 4yo +
MayMonday Tetrarch Stakes FlatListed7f 3yo only
MaySaturday Ridgewood Pearl Stakes FlatGroup 31m 4yo + f
MaySaturday Irish 2,000 Guineas FlatGroup 11m 3yo only
MaySaturday Greenlands Stakes FlatGroup 36f 3yo +
MaySunday Irish 1,000 Guineas FlatGroup 11m 3yo only f
MaySunday Gallinule Stakes FlatGroup 31m 2f 3yo only
MaySunday Tattersalls Gold Cup FlatGroup 11m 2f 110y4yo +
JuneFriday International Stakes FlatGroup 31m 2f 3yo +
JuneSaturday Irish Derby FlatGroup 11m 4f 3yo only
JuneSaturday Railway Stakes FlatGroup 26f 2yo only
JuneSaturday Sapphire Stakes FlatGroup 35f 3yo +
JuneSunday Curragh Cup FlatGroup 31m 6f 3yo +
JuneSunday Pretty Polly Stakes FlatGroup 11m 2f 3yo + f
JuneSunday Balanchine Stakes FlatGroup 36f 2yo only f
JulySaturday Anglesey Stakes FlatGroup 36f 63y2yo only
JulySaturday Minstrel Stakes FlatGroup 37f 3yo +
JulySaturday Irish Oaks FlatGroup 11m 4f 3yo only f
JulySunday Kilboy Estate Stakes FlatGroup 21m 1f 3yo + f
AugustSunday Phoenix Sprint Stakes FlatGroup 36f 3yo +
AugustSunday Phoenix Stakes FlatGroup 16f 2yo only
AugustSunday Debutante Stakes FlatGroup 27f 2yo only
AugustSunday Royal Whip Stakes FlatGroup 31m 2f 3yo +
AugustSaturday Futurity Stakes FlatGroup 27f 2yo only
AugustSaturday Flying Five Stakes FlatGroup 35f 3yo +
AugustSaturday Curragh Stakes FlatListed5f 2yo only
AugustSaturday Irish St Leger Trial Stakes FlatGroup 31m 6f 3yo +
SeptemberSunday Moyglare Stud Stakes FlatGroup 17f 2yo only f
SeptemberSunday Lanwades Stud Fillies' Stakes FlatGroup 31m 1f 3yo + f
SeptemberSunday Round Tower Stakes FlatGroup 36f 2yo only
SeptemberSaturday Renaissance Stakes FlatGroup 36f 3yo +
SeptemberSaturday Blandford Stakes FlatGroup 21m 2f 3yo + f
SeptemberSunday Vincent O'Brien Stakes FlatGroup 17f 2yo only
SeptemberSunday Solonaway Stakes FlatGroup 21m 3yo +
SeptemberSunday Irish St. Leger FlatGroup 11m 6f 3yo +
SeptemberSunday Weld Park Stakes FlatGroup 37f 2yo only f
SeptemberSunday Beresford Stakes FlatGroup 21m 2yo only


Bus and coach

On race days, there are shuttle buses from Kildare railway station to The Curragh. Dublin Coach's routes to Portlaoise and Ennis also serve the racecourse on these days. [11]

Former railway stations

The racecourse was once served by two railway stations: Curragh Mainline on the main Dublin–Cork line, which opened in 1846, and Curragh Racecourse at the end of a short branch to the grandstand, which opened in 1875. Curragh Racecourse station closed in 1977 and the branch was subsequently lifted, while Curragh Mainline fell into disuse in the early 2000s. [12] [13]

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  3. – About/History
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  10. [ bare URL ]
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