Located in Newbridge, County Kildare, Curragh Racecourse takes centre stage in Irish racing. It hosts all five of the Classic Irish group one racing events, from the Irish Derby (which first took place in 1866) and Irish Oaks, to the 1000 and 2000 Irish Guineas, and of course the Irish St.Leger, run over 1m 6f.
Curragh racecourse, aka ‘The Curragh’ is a right handed horsehsoes shaped course of around 2 miles in length. A straight course hosts races up to the mile long mark. The course is nestled in County Kildare’s 4,870-acre Curragh Plains, the most extensive natural grassland in Europe. Some historians claim that the site may have hosted chariot racing as early as the third century.
The racecourse is Ireland’s premier flat racing venue hosting the vast majority of Irish group one races held each year. Of course with big races comes big purses and consequently significant financial rewards are also on offer at Curragh. This helps it draw in the cream of crop of the racing world, in terms of horses, jockeys, trainer and owners. It’s known as the course ‘Where Champions are Made’ for good reason. It’s at the heart of Irish horse racing, and is Ireland’s answer to Newmarket.
The Curragh racecourse is steeped in history, with records going back to 1727 highlighting racing that took place there. It’s both a popular and accessible place for visitors to Ireland and also racing fans to go to with numerous amenities on site such as restaurants and facilities for children. An extensive redevelopment costing $73 million is currently taking place to ensure that these facilities match that of the world class racing. These improvements include a brand new Grandstand as the centrepiece, and new bars and restaurants too.
Buses reguarly go to the racecourse offering straightforward travel options and the course hosts 19 race meetings each year from May to September including such occasions as the Longines Irish Champions Weekend . This event is held on the third weekend of September each year and draws in both serious racing fans and casual punters alike for an entertaining weekend of thrilling, high class racing action.