Curragh Racecourse

Welcome to our official guide to Curragh Racecourse.

We explore this great Irish flat racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather.

Find out more about The Curragh:

Curragh Racecourse

Overview of The Curragh Racecourse

The word ‘Curragh’ literally translates as ‘place of the running horse’ from the Irish Gaelic word ‘cuirreach’, so it’s no coincidence that Curragh Racecourse (often just called ‘The Curragh’ by those in the know) is considered the home of flat horseracing in Ireland.

The Curragh is situated just off the main road between Dublin and Cork, so is easily accessible by the masses – undoubtedly part of what formed this course’s popularity.

Curragh is a right-handed horse-shoe shaped track, galloping in nature and with a difficult uphill finish. It measures two miles, with a one-mile chute. All five Irish flat classic races happen at the Curragh, so its popularity is no surprise.

The shape and condition of the course mean that no one type of runner is favoured over any other, so it’s thought of in the industry as very ‘fair’.

The world’s best-thoroughbred horses aren’t just raced at Curragh: they’re trained here, too. Over 1,500 acres of land on the racecourse are dedicated to the Curragh Training Grounds, so there’s plenty of learning facilities and practising space!

12 miles of peat gallops, 70 miles of turf gallops and 8 all-weather tracks are available for trainers to use.

Often referred to as one of the best training grounds and training facilities in the world, the variety and quality of gallops on offer simply can’t be matched elsewhere, even by considerably newer training facilities.

The Curragh’s main grandstand cuts an unusual figure across the skyline of the course, almost floating with its horizontal roof cutting in three directions outward.

The grandstand’s architecture was influenced by the landscape around it, and the materials used to construct it are all influenced by local flora, fauna and history.

Plaques and posters inside the grandstand detail the art and cultural links between the building and the Curragh grasslands that surround it.

Curragh Racecourse History

The Curragh is steeped in racing history.

The first record of a horse race on the Curragh plains is dated in 1727, with the first notable derby in 1866.

It wasn’t until some two years later, in 1868, that the Curragh was designated an official horseracing venue, and construction and specialist facilities could begin to be developed. This covered a vast 4870 acres of land across Curragh!

With such a large geographic area being allocated to the equine sport, it was only natural that the Curragh would develop training grounds. Indeed horses trained at the Curragh have gone on to become some of the finest racers in the world.

Horses trained here, particularly by trainer Dermot Weld, have won races in the USA, England, Australia, France, Germany and Hong Kong.

As one of the most well-attended venues in Ireland, it’s no surprise that the owners and operation managers of the course need to continually refurbish and modernise the course.

Now owned by an independent body, Curragh Racecourse Ltd, its regeneration began in 2017 and saw the construction of the new architecturally-unique grandstand, three new restaurants and vast new enclosures including a new parade ring, new weighing room and a Museum of Irish Racing.

The Curragh training grounds are also due to enjoy investment and development, but plans have been delayed somewhat by the COVID-19 outbreak and restrictions around business.

The Main Races and Events The Curragh

Whilst the Curragh can boast all five of Ireland’s top flat races – and is the home of the “Irish Classics” including the Irish 1000 Guineas and Irish 2000 Guineas, Irish Oaks and Irish St Leger – the jewel in the crown of its schedule is really the Group 1 Irish Derby Festival. It is currently named the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival after its current sponsor.

The Irish Derby is a three-day race meet with prize money on offer totalling a huge €2.25m. Races are held daily alongside music performances, fashion shows and competitions for attendees, and runs over one mile and four furlongs. It is truly ‘the’ race in Ireland, with only the most skilled of jockeys and fastest of horses ever making the final cut. Some 18 horses have, to date, won both the Irish Derby and Epsom Derby!

Curragh Racecourse Map

Below is a map of the Curragh:

Curragh Racecourse Map
Courtesy of At The Races.

The Curragh course is described as horseshoe-shaped and is right-handed with sweeping bends.

The final two furlongs are on a climb so stamina at any trip is always needed.

There are starts at 5 furlongs, 6 furlongs, 7 furlongs and a mile on the straight course.

There is also a mile start with a sweeping bend.

Races over longer trips – up to 1m6f are run on the longer horseshoe course (this also forms the Derby track).

There is no massive draw basis with runners opting to go far side, centre or stands side depending on ground conditions.

Curragh Racecourse Address

The address of the Curragh Racecourse is:

The Curragh Racecourse
County Kildare
R56 RR67

How To Get To Curragh Racecourse

The ways to get to The Curragh are:

  • By road – The Curragh is easily accessible by road, as it’s just off the main M7 road. Parking is free but can be upgraded for a fee.
  • Buses – buses are available to the course from Dublin Airport every raceday.
  • By train – some resources online will tell you that the Curragh is easily accessible by nearby train stations; but unfortunately, that is no longer the case, as the two nearest stations have closed. However, Kildare Town station does offer free shuttle buses on racedays as a result and is less than 15 mins away.
  • By air – those looking to travel by air to the Curragh can do so directly with the helipad available to book every raceday.

Hotels Near The Curragh

If you’re planning to stay close to the Curragh, you’ll need to book your hotel well in advance as there aren’t a lot of accommodation options nearby.

B&Bs can be found in nearby towns Athgarvan, Kildare and Ballysax, and hotels and guesthouses can be found in Kildare town centre.

For the best availability and rates we often recommend booking through as below:

Best Curragh Betting Sites

At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via betting apps. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely without having to queue.

If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals for new customers:

  • Parimatch Horse Racing

    Parimatch Logo

    18+ New Customers opt in, deposit and bet £5 at odds 2.00+ on Horse Racing within 7 days of registration; excludes cashed out bets. Get 3x £10 Free Bets, set events only at odds 2.00+. Free Bets expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | | Please gamble responsibly

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfred Horse Racing

    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £60 IN BONUSES

    New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Coral Racing

    Coral Horse Racing

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. PayPal and certain deposit and bet types excluded. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • 888 Horse Racing

    888 Horse Racing

    Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets are credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes are not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days, wins are capped at £/€/$500 • To withdraw bonus/related wins, you must wager the bonus amount up to 40 times its value within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Casino Bonus can be used on selected games in casino only • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods & countries.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • William Hill Racing

    William Hill Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS

    New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Racing

    Ladbrokes Horse Racing

    18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Unibet Horse Racing

    Unibet Horse Racing Logo

    18+ New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first racing bet loses. Wagering: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetVictor Horse Racing

    Betvictor Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £40

    18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of registering; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Play Sport

    Mr Play Sport
    BET £10 GET £15

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betway Horse Racing

    Betway Sports

    New UK customers only. £10 Min Deposit. 100% matched free bet on your first deposit of £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bets. Debit Card deposits only. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+. Bet The Responsible Way.

    Full T&C's Apply

The above betting sites all made our list of the best horse online bookmakers.

Betting Shops Local to Curragh Racecourse

As you’d expect in a racecourse of this size, all standard betting options are available.

A branch of Paddy Power can be found in the Champion’s Hall, as well as Tote facilities.

Wi-Fi is free, should you wish to bet online (don’t rely on your mobile phone signal, get online!).

Branches of Paddy Power and BoyleSports Betting can be found in Kildare town.

Curragh Racecourse 2022 Fixtures

The current Curragh race meetings for 2022 are:

  • Saturday 26th March 2022
  • Sunday 10th April
  • Monday 2nd May – Bank Holiday Family Day
  • Friday 20th May Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival
  • Saturday 21st May 2022 – Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival
  • Sunday 22nd May – Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival
  • Wednesday 1st June
  • Friday 24th June – Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival
  • Saturday 25th June – Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival
  • Sunday 26th June – Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival
  • Saturday 16th July – Juddmonte Irish Oaks
  • Sunday 17th July
  • Saturday 6th August
  • Saturday 13th August -Fitzdares Royal Whip & Comer Group International Irish St. Leger Trial
  • Saturday 20th August
  • Saturday 27th August
  • Sunday 11th September – Longines Irish Champions Weekend, Day 2
  • Saturday 24th September – Autumn Festival
  • Sunday 25th September – Autumn Festival
  • Saturday 8th October
  • Thursday 13th October
  • Sunday 23rd October
  • Wednesday 26th October

Major fixtures include Longines Irish Champions weekend, Tattersalls Irish Guineas festival and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby weekend.

Curragh Racecourse Weather

Punters and race-goers love to keep up with the weather to predict going conditions, as well as making sure what they wear is suitable.

Here’s the current weather forecast for The Curragh:

Other Events Held at Curragh

Don’t fret if you’re unable to book up Irish Derby tickets before they sell out – there’s plenty of other races on too.

The season starts with the Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival (originally known as the Ballymoss Stakes) and runs over a weekend, and ends with day two of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend.

That said, racing events take place throughout May – October, and the racecourse’s restaurants are often open aside from racedays for themed evenings and parties.

Curragh Racecard

The racecards for the Curragh are released the day before the races take place, find out where to view racecards here – tomorrow’s racecards and today’s racecards. In these, you will get an advance look at all the runners and riders.

You can also of course purchase a racecard from the track which carries much of the same useful information.

Curragh Races

Summary of Curragh Races

The Curragh is the home of Irish flat racing and has a rich long history of racing on its turf and is a training centre of excellence.

It is the home of the nations Classics – including the Irish Oaks, Derby and Irish St Leger.

The racing is always highly competitive and top quality – only the best horses win here.

It has both a straight course and sweeping right-handed track.

Recent renovations and a new stadium have been added, and although not without teething problems (and a whistling roof!) the world-class course is now firmly back on track.

The Curragh is a national treasure and enjoys visitors from Ireland, the UK and the Rest of The World.

The Curragh has to be a top pick of any racing fan from anywhere in the World. A “must visit” racecourse and should be on any bucket list!

Ireland Racecourses Alphabetical

Here is a full alphabetical list of Irish racecourses, as you can see there are lots of options and racecourses spread across the entire country:

As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.