Curragh Racecourse

Last updated

The Curragh
CurraghLogo.png
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]

Contents

History

"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]

Racing

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

Transport

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]

Related Research Articles

County Kildare County in Ireland

County Kildare is a county in Ireland. It is located in the province of Leinster and is part of the Mid-East Region. It is named after the town of Kildare. Kildare County Council is the local authority for the county, which has a population of 222,504.

Kildare Town in Leinster, Ireland

Kildare is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. As of 2016, its population was 8,634 making it the 7th largest town in County Kildare. The town lies on the R445, some 50 km (31 mi) west of Dublin – near enough for it to have become, despite being a regional centre in its own right, a commuter town for the capital. Although Kildare gives its name to the county, Naas is the county town.

Curragh Flat, open plain in Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland

The Curragh is a flat open plain of almost 2,000 hectares of common land in Newbridge, County Kildare. This area is well known for Irish horse breeding and training. The Irish National Stud is located on the edge of Kildare town, beside the famous Japanese Gardens. Also located here is Pollardstown Fen, the largest fen in Ireland. This area is of particular interest to botanists and ecologists because of the numerous bird species that nest and visit there. There are also many rare plants that grow there.

Naas County town of Kildare, Ireland

Naas is the county town of County Kildare in Ireland. In 2016, it had a population of 21,393, making it the second largest town in County Kildare after Newbridge.

Limerick Junction railway station Train station in the Republic of Ireland

Limerick Junction is the interchange railway station for trains originating in Limerick, Dublin Heuston, Cork, Waterford, Tralee and Ennis stations. The station opened on 3 July 1848.

Ascot Racecourse

Ascot Racecourse is a dual-purpose British racecourse, located in Ascot, Berkshire, England, which is used for thoroughbred horse racing. It hosts 13 of Britain's 36 annual Flat Group 1 horse races and three Grade 1 Jumps races.

Newbridge, County Kildare Town in Leinster, Ireland

Newbridge, officially known by its Irish name Droichead Nua, is a town in County Kildare, Ireland. While the nearby Great Connell Priory was founded in the 13th century, the town itself formed from the 18th century onwards, and grew rapidly alongside a military barracks which opened in the early 19th century. Taking on the name Newbridge in the 20th century, the town expanded to support the local catchment, and also as a commuter town for Dublin. Doubling in population during the 20 years between 1991 and 2011, its population of 22,742 in 2016 makes it the largest town in Kildare and the fifteenth-largest in Ireland.

Vintage Crop British-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Vintage Crop was a British-bred Irish-trained Thoroughbred racehorse best known for becoming the first northern hemisphere trained runner to win Australia's premier race the Melbourne Cup. The chestnut gelding competed in flat racing in Ireland, England, and Australia from 1992 to 1995. He won 16 races in Ireland, England, and Australia. For his performance during the 1993 racing season he earned the Cartier Award for Top Stayer.

Point-to-point (steeplechase)

A point-to-point is a form of horse racing over fences for hunting horses and amateur riders. In Ireland, where the sport is open to licensed professional trainers, many of the horses will appear in these races before they compete in National Hunt races. Consequently, the Irish point-to-point is more used as a nursery for future young stars: a horse that wins its debut point-to-point in Ireland will often sell for a high price. Whilst professional trainers are specifically excluded from running horses in point-to-points in Great Britain, the days of the farmer running his hunter at the local point-to-point have gone. Increasingly, horses are run from "livery yards" - unlicensed but otherwise professional training establishments, sometimes closely allied with a licensed yard.

Kildare railway station Railway station in Southern Ireland

Kildare railway station is a railway station on the Dublin to Cork Railway line and Dublin commuter service.

Dublin Suburban Rail Five-line railway network serving Greater Dublin and beyond

The Dublin Suburban Rail network, branded as DART/Commuter, is a railway network that serves the city of Dublin, Ireland, most of the Greater Dublin Area and outlying towns. The system is made up of five lines:

Down Royal Racecourse is a horse racing venue near Lisburn in Northern Ireland. The most valuable race run there is the Ladbrokes Champion Chase, run at the Northern Ireland Festival of racing in November. The most valuable flat race to be run there annually is the Ulster Derby.

Horse Racing Ireland Governing body for horse racing on the island of Ireland

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) is the governing body of horse racing on the island of Ireland. The HRI mission statement is "to develop and promote Ireland as a world centre of excellence for horse racing and breeding". Like most other sports, horse racing is run on an All Ireland basis, so Horse Racing Ireland is responsible for racing in both the Republic of Ireland, which has 24 racecourses, and in Northern Ireland, which has two racecourses. The remit of the British Horseracing Authority does not extend to Northern Ireland. HRI was founded in 2001, succeeding the Irish Horseracing Authority, the 1994 successor to the Racing Board founded in 1945.

Dundalk Stadium is a horse and greyhound racing venue in Ireland. It is located to the north of Dundalk in County Louth.

Clonmel Racecourse is a horse racing venue in the town of Clonmel, County Tipperary, Ireland which stages both National Hunt and Flat racing.

Roscommon Racecourse is a horse racing venue located in Roscommon, County Roscommon, Ireland, approximately 76 km north east of Galway and 136 km west of Dublin.

Woore Racecourse was an English National Hunt horse racing venue, situated in the village of Woore, in the northernmost corner of Shropshire, on the border with Cheshire and Staffordshire.

Richmond Racecourse Former horse-racing ground in Richmond, North Yorkshire

Richmond Racecourse was a British horse racing track situated at Richmond, North Yorkshire at first High Moor, then Low Moor, from 1765 to 1776. It was last used for horse racing in 1891. The grandstand, believed to have been designed by John Carr, is now the oldest surviving stone-built public grandstand in the world.

Racing Academy and Centre of Education

The Racing Academy and Centre of Education (RACE) is a jockey training school at the Irish National Stud near Kildare, Ireland. Its Trainee Jockey Course is a foundation course in race riding and stable work, taught in a 42-week residential program. Students typically go on to either jockey apprenticeships or stable work after completing the course. Johnny Murtagh and Cathy Gannon are among those who have gone on to success as racing jockeys after taking the Trainee Jockey Course. RACE also offers other training and certification in race riding, the care of horses and racehorse training, including riding courses for international students. The Irish School of Farriery run by the Irish Farriery Authority is located in a purpose-built building on the RACE campus, and several other organisations involved in the equine sector are also located here.

Horse racing in Ireland

Horse racing in Ireland is intricately linked with Irish culture and society. The racing of horses has a long history on the island, being mentioned in some of the earliest texts. Domestically, racing is one of Ireland's most popular spectator sports, while on the international scene, Ireland is one of the strongest producers and trainers of Thoroughbred horses. The Irish horse racing industry is closely linked with that of Great Britain, with Irish horses regularly competing and winning on the British racing circuit.

References

  1. "The Curragh Racecourse". www.curragh.ie. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  2. "10 things you probably didn't know about the Curragh". IntoKildare.ie. 9 May 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  3. Curragh.ie – About/History
  4. Sportsfile (September 2004). Sports Ticket: Live the Action!. Aesculus Press Ltd. ISBN   978-1-904328-24-7.
  5. Field, The Irish. "NEWS: HRI announce 2019 fixture list". www.theirishfield.ie. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  6. Sportsfile (September 2004). Sports Ticket: Live the Action!. Aesculus Press Ltd. ISBN   978-1-904328-24-7.
  7. "The Complete Irish Racecourses Guide". www.horse4course-racetips.com. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  8. "Curragh Racecourse Guide". British Racecourses. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  9. "The Curragh | HRI". www.goracing.ie. Retrieved 13 July 2020.
  10. http://www.curraghtraininggrounds.ie/ [ bare URL ]
  11. "Go to the Races – Bus Services to Curragh Racecourse". Dublin Coach. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  12. Ayres, Bob (2003). "Irish Railway Stations" (PDF). Railscot. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  13. "Curragh". eiretrains.com. Retrieved 19 September 2016.