Downpatrick Racecourse

Welcome to our official guide to Downpatrick Racecourse.

We explore this Northern Irish jumps 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 Downpatrick Racecourse:

Downpatrick Racecourse Guide

Overview of Downpatrick Races

Northern Ireland may not be blessed with an abundance of racecourses but quality certainly triumphs over quantity.

Take Downpatrick as an example. A historical venue in a historic town, operated under the auspices of Horse Racing Ireland, Downpatrick is a premier location for National Hunt racing in Northern Ireland.

Located in the scenic rolling countryside of County Down, Downpatrick Racecourse is found under a mile from the town centre of the same name. Steeped in history, Downpatrick is a popular location for tourists during the summer, many of whom attend the June Festival at the racecourse.

The track itself is narrow and right-handed and is eleven furlongs around.

All events that unfold here are National Hunt races, featuring six fences per circuit.

While the fences are generally on the small side and easy to clear, the track itself is hilly with many peaks and drops – like a horse racing rollercoaster.

The final straight is entirely uphill, meaning that stamina is a must for a competing horse.

The narrowness of the track makes overtaking challenging though, so lookout for a horse with great acceleration. Taking an early lead and front running can also be invaluable.

Downpatrick is a relaxed racecourse with no formal dress code, though smart casual is the least expected in an unofficial capacity. Several racedays include prizes for appropriate attire, so it’s always worth dressing to impress. Keep the County Down weather in mind, too.

History of Downpatrick Racecourse

Downpatrick is the oldest racecourse in Ireland, with an illustrious history to match such as a status.

The first equestrian events in the area took place in 1685, and the venue that stands today was built over 150 years ago.

Previously, Downpatrick was home to both Flat and National Hunt racing. Flat options were gradually phased out over the decades though, and the final race of this ilk was run in 2009.

Downpatrick does have one other significant claim to fame. Byerley Turk, a foundation stallion for thoroughbred horses, competed in the area in the late 17th Century.

Downpatrick Racecourse Map

Below is a map of Downpatrick Racecourse:

Downpatrick Racecourse Map
Map courtesy of At The Races.

The course is narrow and right-handed with a relatively short 11 furlongs per lap.

It is a tricky and undulating course with many rises and falls, the nature of the course tends to suit more nippy horses rather than traditional long-striding and galloping types.

Downpatrick Racecourse Address

The official address for Downpatrick racecourse is:

Downpatrick Racecourse
24 Ballydugan Road
Downpatrick
Co. Down
Northern Ireland
BT30 6TE

How to Get To Downpatrick Racecourse

To ways to get to Downpatrick races are:

  • By road – if you prefer to drive, take the M1 Southbound from Belfast, exiting at Junction 6 onto the Ballynahinch. From here, take the A24 and then the A25 – this is the road that hosts Downpatrick Racecourse. If driving from Lisburn, take the Laganbank Road toward Saintfield, then turn off at the Ballynahinch. Follow the same instructions as above from here.
  • By Train – alternatively, travel into Lisburn. This is a comparable distance to Belfast, and also offers a route into Downpatrick via public transport. It’s also the closest train station. Downpatrick Railway Station is a heritage monument, so not suitable for travel to visitors attending the races. You could always take a taxi from Belfast or Lisburn, but this is not going to be a cheap option.
  • By air – Belfast is the closest city to Downpatrick, found some 23 miles away. This makes Belfast the best airport to fly into if this is your choice of travel. It will take around an hour to travel to Downpatrick by bus from Belfast, with the racecourse a brief stroll away from the bus station.

Hotels Near Downpatrick Racecourse

As Downpatrick Racecourse is quite a distance from major transport links, you may want to stay local when attending a race meet. It is one mile from the town centre.

Unfortunately, options remain comparatively limited without travel in this historic town.

There are a handful of accommodations available to you, though. Denvir’s, for example, is a charming inn located in the town centre, just a mile from the racecourse.

There are also numerous small, family-run B&Bs in the area if you search around. As small enterprises, these locations do not have personal websites. You’ll be taking a chance on making a booking, “sight unseen.” If this makes you uncomfortable, base yourself in Belfast and continue your onward journey in the morning. Check out Booking.com for a range of hotels in Northern Ireland: 

Booking.com

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Best Downpatrick Races Betting Sites

At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via mobile 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 online betting websites:

  • 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

The online bookies all made our list of the best horse racing betting sites.

Main Races and Downpatrick Race Meetings

Downpatrick operates ten national hunt race meeting throughout the year, opening its doors in March and concluding in October.

A standard annual fixture list and race meeting fixtures for Downpatrick will resemble:

  • March – the great curtain-raiser of racing in Downpatrick is the Ulster National Day. The titular race is the main event of this meet, acting as a practice run for the Irish Grand National (handicap chase) for many jockeys and boasting prize money of €50,000.
  • May – Downpatrick takes a break in April but returns in May for two racedays. The first is a daytime event that unfolds on the first Bank Holiday Monday of the month. The second is an evening meeting, usually on the Friday preceding the second Bank Holiday.
  • June June sees two racing meets unfold over back-to-back over a single weekend during the middle of the month. Referred to as Festival Saturday and Festival Sunday, these are daytime events that are followed by live music in the evening. The June Festival is considered the jewel in the crown of the Downpatrick Races.
  • July Family Fun Raceday takes place every July at Downpatrick. In addition to seven races of the race meeting – including the Irish Jockeys in Support of Downpatrick Racecourse Maiden Hurdle – free activities to keep younger visitors entertained are included in the price of admission.
  • August – August sees two major events at Downpatrick. The first is Style Sunday, where dressing to impress is positively encouraged. The two final races award prestigious luxury holidays to the Most Appropriately Dressed Lady and Best Dressed Man, respectively. Ladies Day also takes place this month, with similar rewards available. The contents here, again tied to the final races of the meet, include the Ladies Upstyle Hair Competition and the Most Stylish Hat and Accessories Competition.
  • September – the solitary event of September is dubbed Get Ready for Autumn. Unfolding mid-month, this meet features seven races and live music after the final event of the day.
  • October – Downpatrick concludes its racing calendar in early October with the End of Season Raceday. There’s a party atmosphere at this meet, ensuring that the season draws to a close with a bang.

Always confirm that events have not been cancelled, postponed or amended before travelling to Downpatrick. All race meets, fixtures and competitions are subject to change due to a wide array of external circumstances.

Downpatrick Racecourse 2022 Fixtures

The current Downpatrick race meeting dates for 2022 are:

  • Sunday 20th March – “Randox Ulster National” Raceday
  • Friday 6th May
  • Friday 20th May (Evening)
  • Saturday 11th June – Festival Saturday Raceday
  • Sunday 12th June – Festival Sunday Raceday
  • Wednesday 13th July
  • Sunday 7th August
  • Monday 29th August
  • Friday 16th September
  • Friday 7th October

Downpatrick Races 2023

Here is the horse racing calendar for Downpatrick Races in 2023:

Date Day Track
02/04/2023 Sunday Downpatrick
05/05/2023 Friday Downpatrick
19/05/2023 Friday Downpatrick
17/06/2023 Saturday Downpatrick
18/06/2023 Sunday Downpatrick
13/07/2023 Thursday Downpatrick
13/08/2023 Sunday Downpatrick
28/08/2023 Monday Downpatrick
15/09/2023 Friday Downpatrick
06/10/2023 Friday Downpatrick

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

Downpatrick 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 Downpatrick Racecourse, Northern Ireland:

DOWNPATRICK WEATHER

Other Events at Downpatrick Course

You will not find events unconnected to racing at Downpatrick unless invited to a private function.

The venue is available for hire, however, and most race days are lengthy affairs that spill into the night.

Live music performances following races are a common occurrence at Downpatrick.

Downpatrick Racecard

The racecards for the Downpatrick races are released the day before the races take place, find out where to view racecards here – tomorrows racecards and today’s racecards.

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

Downpatrick Races

Summary of Downpatrick Racecourse

A unique national hunt flat in Northern Ireland, Downpatrick is an uphill and downhill tight right-handed track.

Whilst the racing isn’t always of the highest quality it is also well attended and well contested.

The main event is the Ulster National and you will find a race meeting from March to October.

We love this quirky track at British Racecourses, it is 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 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.