Down Royal Racecourse

Welcome to our official guide to Down Royal Racecourse.

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

Find out more about Down Royal Racecourse:

Down Royal Racecourse

Overview of Down Royal Races

Down Royal Racecourse has been home to racing since the 18th century and is situated just outside of Lisburn in Northern Ireland.

Although the course is located well within the borders of Northern Ireland, and therefore the UK, the racing at Down Royal sits within the authority of Horse Racing Ireland.

Down Royal is one of just two horse racing courses in Northern Ireland.

Down Races are considered an approachable and friendly venue for first-timers to the sport as well as seasoned veterans alike.

Situated in Lisburn, about half an hours’ drive from Belfast and less than two hours from Dublin (and just off the A1, the main road between the two), Down Royal is easily accessible to all on the Emerald Isle.

Thoroughly modern but with a rich history of racing, Down Royal mixes business with sport and pleasure to perfection.

Hosting both National Hunt and Flat racing, the highlight of the Down Royal’s calendar is the two-day Festival of Racing every October, which boasts a number of graded races and starts the jumping season with a bang.

The track at Down Royal is a right-handed square track measuring just under two miles in length. There are 10 fences to a circuit along a wide galloping track with better ground lying to the outside; although the winners are not always predictable. A chute for races run a 5 furlongs is in place at an almost constant turn right.

Horses need to be well balanced to enjoy running at Down Royal and experienced in running on a round course.

Down Royal Racecourse History

There has been racing at Down Royal since the early 18th century when the land was donated the First Marquess of Downshire, Arthur Hill.

Before that, King James II had issued a Royal Charter to form the Down Royal Corporation of Horse Breeders, but racing had never launched.

In 1750, King George II donated £100 for the King’s Plate to be run at Down Royal Racecourse – and a race resembling this (now named Her Majesty’s Plate) is run at the same time of year (July) over the same distance (1 mile 5 furlongs).

Down Royal has enjoyed heavy investment over the years and boasts a variety of great entertaining, hospitality and business facilities as a result.

Down Royal Racecourse Map

There are two courses at Down Royal.

Down Royal National Hunt Track

Below is a map of the jumps course at Down Royal:

Down Royal Racecourse Map

Down Royal Flat Course

Below is a map of Down Royal flat course:

 

Down Royal Flat Track

Down Royal Main Races and Events

Down Royal Racecourse holds events all year round and its schedule includes some of the biggest and most prominent races in the Irish calendar.

The first Grade 1 chase of the year starts off the jumping season in November with a two-day festival meet headlined by the JNwine.com Champion Chase.

The Ulster Derby and Oaks, run every June at Down Royal, is Northern Ireland’s most valuable flat race. Open to three-year-old horses, this race is run over 1 mile 4 furlongs and 150 yards and has been run at the course since 1936.

There most valuable race over jumps is the Ladbrokes Champion Chase.

Down Royal Racecourse Address

The address of Down Royal Racecourse is:

Down Royal Racecourse
Gravelhill Road
Lisburn
BT27 5RW
Northern Ireland.

How To Get To Down Royal Racecourse

The ways to get to Down Royal races are:

  • By road – Down Royal Racecourse is situated just 5km southwest of Lisburn in Northern Ireland. A turnoff from the A1, the main road connecting Dublin and Belfast, the racecourse is easily accessible by road; with the journey taking about 1 hour 40 min from Dublin and less than half an hour from Belfast. Free car parking is available for all visitors attending by car and all car parks are located within a 5min walk from the race track.
  • By train – the closest train station to Down Royal is Belfast Central Station, to which regular rail services run from all over the country. On race days, shuttle buses run from Belfast Central straight to (and later, from) the course to connect with all major services.
  • By bus – a return bus service from Belfast city centre is operated every race day by the Belfast Bus Company, departing from College Square North. These run from 90 mins before the first race and then from 1 hour afterwards.
  • By air – for those travelling by air, Belfast International Airport is less than a half hours’ drive from Down Royal.

Hotels near Down Royal Racecourse

There is no hotel directly on the Down Royal site, but there are plenty around for those visiting nearby Lisburn.

The closest accommodation option is Dunhill B&B, which has rooms starting from £62, closely followed by the Lisburn Premier Inn which is situated just to the south of the city. Broadly speaking, the further out from the city centre you go, the cheaper the hotel rooms get, but there are some more premium options around should you wish to make a real occasion of your visit to the races.

On the whole, Lisburn is extremely reasonably priced for hotel and accommodation options, but rooms do get booked up in advance for big meets – so prepare and make sure you have your stay confirmed before you leave. We often recommend booking via Booking.com, check out their great deals below: 

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Betting Shops Local to Down Royal Racecourse

There are a couple of betting kiosks on-site at Down Royal Racecourse, but it tends to be understated.

The best odds are always to be found with independent bookies trackside!

Private and hospitality suites at the course benefit from roaming bookmakers who will visit tables and individuals as and when required.

If you’re looking to bet with chain bookmakers, you’ll find three branches of Ladbrokes horse racing in nearby Lisburn.

All major online betting sites will provide odds for races at Down Royal and you may find the odds a little more generous than you’re used to as the location of the course simply means less people place bets than they do at major courses elsewhere in the UK.

Best Down Royal Races Betting Sites

At British Racecourses, we often recommend betting online and via the best 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 with some amazing offers for new customers:

  • bet365 Horse Racing

    Bet365 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £50 IN FREE BETS
    Voted the best horse racing website and app by our followers for the past 2 years.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfred Horse Racing

    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £60 IN BONUSES
    Great bonuses, odds, deals and customer service make them one of the leading horse betting sites year after year.

    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 10 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

  • William Hill Horse Racing

    William Hill Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS
    One of the best horse racing bookies in the UK. William Hill are one of our favourites here at British Racecourses.

    18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £30 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfair Horse Racing

    Betfair Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30
    Betfair Sportsbook are one of the biggest and best-betting companies in the world for placing bets online.

    Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Spreadex Betting App

    Spreadex Horse Racing Logo
    BET 10 GET 30
    The spread-betting side of things is one of the best on the market and Spreadex should definitely be considered for those looking to dabble on horse racing bets.

    New Customer Offer. T&Cs Apply. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Paddy Power Horse Racing

    Paddy Power Sports Logo
    BET £20 AND GET IT BACK AS CASH IF IT LOSES
    Paddy Power is one of the best online and high street bookmakers in the UK and Ireland.

    New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
    Full T&C's Apply

  • BoyleSports Horse Racing

    Boyle Sports Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £20 IN FREE BETS + FREE BET IF 2ND TO SP FAV
    BoyleSports is legitimate market-leading Irish bookmaker with amazing sign up bonuses for new customers.

    New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C’s Apply **18+. UK/IRE customers only. Max refund £/€20. Win or win part of e/w outright singles only. 5 or more runners. 1st bet on each race. Free bet expires after 7 days. Free/void/antepost bets don’t qualify. Unnamed 2nd Favs don’t qualify.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetUK Horse Racing

    BetUK logo
    BET £10 GET £30
    Bet UK is a great sports betting brand with a plethora of online betting markets for hundreds of horse racing events.

    New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • 888 Horse Racing

    888 Horse Racing
    £30 IN FREE BETS + £10 CASINO BONUS
    Regularly voted one of the UK’s best bookies and betting sites, we love the easy-to-use website, best odds, live streaming and variety of sports offered.

    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

  • Ladbrokes Horse Racing

    Ladbrokes Horse Racing
    BET £5 GET £20 IN FREE BETS
    Ladbrokes is firmly established as one of the best horse racing betting sites. If you are looking for a new betting platform or betting app, they are a great choice.

    18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetVictor Horse Racing

    Betvictor Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £40
    Punters love the BetVictor betting site rating it one of the top horse racing betting sites for a whole range of reasons, including BOG, live streaming, tips and more.

    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

  • Unibet Horse Racing

    Unibet Horse Racing Logo
    UP TO £40 MONEY BACK
    One of the more new horse racing betting sites UK-wide, Unibet is gathering a lot of new punters and fans, who enjoy its easy-to-use website.

    18+ begambleaware.org. 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

  • Coral Horse Racing

    Coral Horse Racing
    GET £20 IN FREE BETS
    Coral is one of the most established and oldest of all UK bookmakers. They have stood the test of time and are of the best online bookmakers you can choose from.

    18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 1x £20 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply. 

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfair Exchange

    Betfair Exchange Logo
    MONEY BACK AS CASH UP TO £20
    The Betfair Exchange allows customers to bet against each other rather than betting against a traditional bookmaker. The £50 free bet for exchange punters is a great sign up bonus.

    Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Payment restrictions apply for the promotion.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Play Sport

    Mr.Play Sport Logo
    BET £10 GET £15
    Looking for a betting website with a different and modern approach? This leading betting site is gaining fans across the UK, check them out today to find out more.

    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

  • Parimatch Horse Racing

    Parimatch Logo
    BET £10 GET £35
    One of the new horse racing betting sites around, Parimatch is also one of the best online bookies in the UK. Increasingly popular for all sports betting.

    18+ New customers only. Opt in and bet £10 on any Horse Racing market at odds 2.00+ in 7 days. No cash out. Get 6x £5 Horse Racing free bets+ £5 slot bonus, 20x wagering to withdraw max £250. Free bets expire in 24h and bonuses in 7 days. Card payments only. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Grosvenor Horse Racing

    Grosvenor Sports Logo
    DOUBLE THE ODDS
    New in the world of best sporting betting websites, Grosvenor is quickly gaining a good reputation as one of the best online bookies around.

    New Customer Offer. T&Cs Apply. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betway Horse Racing

    Betway Sports
    UP TO £10 IN FREE BETS
    Betway is another one which made the best online bookie list thanks to a range of sports, great odds, customer service and slick betting app interface.

    New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card deposits only. Deposit method restrictions apply. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way.

    Full T&C's Apply

Many of the above, including bet 365 horse racing, Betbull, Paddy Power, BetVictor and Mr Green horse racing – all made our list of the best betting sites UK list.

Other Events Held at Down Royal

Down Royal is home not just to the big races, but also to several more informal race evenings popular with parties, tourists, sponsors and families.

Summer and Autumn race evenings are punctuated with street food stalls and entertainment options, and the Boxing Day race meet proves popular with racing fans from all over Ireland.

Down Royal Weather

Below is the weather for Down Royal:

LISBURN AND CASTLEREAGH WEATHER

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Racing fans like to know the weather so they can plan what to wear for the races.

Down Royal 2022 Fixtures

The remaining fixtures for Down Royal racecourse in 2022 are:

  • 25 January 2022 – Molson Coors race meeting
  • 17 March 2022 – St Patrick Day Race meeting
  • 2 May 2022 – Mayday Races
  • 3 June 2022 – Summer Race evening
  • 17 June 2022 – Summer Festival of Racing
  • 18 June 2022 – Summer Festival of Racing
  • 22 July 2022 – Molson Coors race evening
  • 26 August 2022 – Musgrave Race Evening
  • 2 September 2022 – Grant Thornton
  • 26 September 2022 – Student Race day
  • 4 November 2022 – Festival of Racing
  • 5 November 2022 – Festival of Racing
  • 26 December 2022 – Boxing Day Races

Down Royal Races 2023

Here is the horse racing calendar for Down Royal Races in 2023:

Date Day Track
24/01/2023 Tuesday Down Royal
17/03/2023 Friday Down Royal
01/05/2023 Monday Down Royal
01/06/2023 Thursday Down Royal
23/06/2023 Friday Down Royal
24/06/2023 Saturday Down Royal
28/07/2023 Friday Down Royal
01/09/2023 Friday Down Royal
08/09/2023 Friday Down Royal
25/09/2023 Monday Down Royal
03/11/2023 Friday Down Royal
04/11/2023 Saturday Down Royal
26/12/2023 Tuesday Down Royal

Check out our guide for the full list of Ireland’s horse race meetings in 2022.

Down Royal Racecard

The racecards for Down Royal races will be released the day before the races are set to happen (Down Royal races today). You can view full racecards in advance, check out  – horse racing tomorrow and horse racing today. In these, you will get an advance look at all the runners, trainers, form and riders.

You can also of course purchase a racecard from the track which carries much of the same useful information. Many like to keep these as souvenirs, especially from major horse races.

Popular Questions

What is the cheapest way to get from Belfast to Down Royal Racecourse?

The cheapest and quickest way to get to Down Royal Racecourse from Belfast is to drive.

How is Down Royal Racecourse rated?

Down Royal Racecourse is rated highly on Google and also by our followers at British Racecourses, it is definitely worth a visit.

What days are Down Royal Racecourse open?

To see what days Down Royal Racecourse is open check our full fixture list.

Summary of Down Royal Racecourse

Down Royal Racecourses hosts quality racing throughout the year both over jumps and on the flat.

It is a venue where modern facilities and superb horses combine and it is always a great day out for racing fans and families alike.

If you are looking for a great days racing you won’t be disappointed – definitely worth a visit!

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 Co-Founder of British Racecourses, I love the chance to share my enjoyment of racing with others. As a family, we have always loved the racing and went to Haydock races as kids, as often as we could. We are now lucky enough to own some fantastic racehorses who we will follow around the tracks and we have had some great wins. As part of British Racecourses, I enjoy visiting and reviewing the racecourses that we visit, all of which I think have something to offer and are brilliant in their own ways.