Welcome to our official guide to Curragh Racecourse. In this section we explore this great Irish flat racing racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
- 1 Overview
- 2 Racecourse History
- 3 Main Races and Events
- 4 Curragh Racecourse Map
- 5 Curragh Racecourse Address
- 6 How To Get To Curragh Racecourse
- 7 Hotels near Curragh Racecourse
- 8 Best Curragh Betting Sites
- 9 Betting Shops Local to Curragh Racecourse
- 10 Main Fixtures
- 11 Curragh Racecourse Weather
- 12 Other Events
- 13 Summary
- 14 Other Racecourses
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 – and name! – is no surprise. The shape and condition of the course means 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 Racecourse: 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 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.
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.
Main Races and Events
Whilst the Curragh can boast all five of Ireland’s top flat races, the jewel in the crown of its schedule is really the Irish Derby Festival. 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!
Curragh Racecourse Map
Curragh Racecourse Address
The Curragh Racecourse
R56 RR67, Ireland.
How To Get To Curragh Racecourse
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.
The Curragh is, however, easily accessible by road, as it’s just off the main M7 road. Parking is free, but can be upgraded for a fee. Buses are available to the course from Dublin Airport every raceday.
Those looking to travel by air to the Curragh Racecourse can do so directly with the helipad available to book every raceday.
Hotels near Curragh Racecourse
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 great deal 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.
Best Curragh Betting Sites
At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via 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:
New Customers Only. Min deposit £5. Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
New UK & NI customers only. 18+. Sign up using promo code ‘SPORTS60’. Deposit & place first sports bet at a minimum of £10 in one bet transaction at evens (2.0) +. £30 paid in free bets within 48 hours of bet settlement, expires 7-days after issue. Doesn’t apply to customers who place their first bet on the Virtual Grand National. E-Wallet & Prepaid Card restrictions apply. Your first bet must be settled within 60 days of bet placement. SMS validation may be required. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
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. T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
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 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply. Full T&C's Apply
New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days. Full T&C's Apply
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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 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:
CURRAGH CAMP WEATHER
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.
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