Gowran Park Racecourse

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Welcome to our guide to Gowran Park Racecourse:

Located just a kilometre south of the town of Gowran, in the east of County Kilkenny, Gowran Park Racecourse is a Grade 1 ranked horseracing venue that hosts both National Hunt and flat racing.

If you are looking for the latest betting tips for Gowran Park, check out our full guide to Gowran Park Racecourse tips.

We explore this racecourse looking at its history, a guide to the course, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and more.

Find out more about Gowran Park Racecourse:

Gowran Park racecourse

Overview of Gowran Races

A mixture of graded racing takes place at Gowran Park Racecourse throughout the year and it is considered one of the most important dual-purpose tracks in the whole of Ireland. There are sixteen or seventeen race meets spread throughout the year.

Gowran Park Racecourse is just a fifteen-minute drive out of the city of Kilkenny and so is a popular venue for those in the city to celebrate occasions and attend special events such as Ladies Day.

It also attracts many high-quality trainers and owners who recognise the heritage behind the course as well as the prominent and prestigious races in its calendar.

The popularity of Gowran Park Racecourse has soared in the last couple of decades, particularly since its Grade 1 status being granted in 2006. As a result, the racecourse has received investment into its hospitality and conferencing facilities and continues to attract hoardes of visitors every year.

Gowran Park Racecourse History

Gowran Park Racecourse has been home to horseracing since June 1914, when both flat races and steeplechases were on the race programme for a grand prize of £130. The stewards at that race included Lord Annaly, Captain Dermot McCalmont – and Gowran Park remains in his family today as his grandson Harry McCalmont is a Director on the Board of the racecourse today!

In 1948, the present race company was formed. It made history several times over the years, including in 1952 where it played home to the first-ever on-course commentary and in 1966 where the first Tote Jackpot was won.

The first television horse race in Ireland also took place at Gowran Park!

Following some investment, a new grandstand was created in 2003 as well as new betting and hospitality facilities.

The first-ever Irish Group 3 flat race was held at Gowran Park in 2006 and not long after it received classification as a Grade 1 course for National Hunt races.

Indeed throughout the winter months in particular, the race meets held at Gowran House Racecourse are of considerable quality.

Gowran Racecourse Map

There are two courses at Gowran, the flat and the jumps course:

Gowran Park Flat Racecourse

Below is a map of Gowran Park flat racecourse:

Gowran park racecourse map

The track at Gowran Park is a right-handed oval measuring approximately a mile and a half.

Its undulations essentially make it a galloping track, and many horses get caught in the final climb of the furlong straight that is three furlongs in length.

Gowran Park Jumps Track

Below is a map of Gowran Park’s national hunt track:

Gowran Park Jumps Track

For National Hunt racing, there are seven fences to a circuit for the chase course on the outside of the hurdles track.

The run-in is around a furlong.

In the summer when the going is good, it’s a fast track, and there is rarely any one type of horse or jockey that has a tangible advantage.

Main Races and Events at Gowran Park

Gowran House Racecourse’s calendar highlight is the Thyestes Chase, held each January as a National Hunt handicap chase. Raced over three miles and one furlong across seventeen fences. It has a maximum field of eighteen runners and is usually run mainly by horses who will go on to compete in the Grand National. The Thyestes Chase has been run at Gowran Park since 1954.

Gowran Park Races 2023

Here is the horse racing calendar for Gowran Park Races in 2023:

26/01/2023ThursdayGowran Park
18/02/2023SaturdayGowran Park
11/03/2023SaturdayGowran Park
12/04/2023WednesdayGowran Park
19/04/2023WednesdayGowran Park
03/05/2023WednesdayGowran Park
10/05/2023WednesdayGowran Park
23/05/2023TuesdayGowran Park
05/06/2023MondayGowran Park
18/06/2023SundayGowran Park
29/07/2023SaturdayGowran Park
16/08/2023WednesdayGowran Park
06/09/2023WednesdayGowran Park
16/09/2023SaturdayGowran Park
29/09/2023FridayGowran Park
30/09/2023SaturdayGowran Park
17/10/2023TuesdayGowran Park
11/11/2023SaturdayGowran Park

Gowran Park Races 2024

Here is the horse racing calendar for Gowran Park Races in 2024:

25/01/2024ThursdayGowran Park
17/02/2024SaturdayGowran Park
09/03/2024SaturdayGowran Park
03/04/2024WednesdayGowran Park
17/04/2024WednesdayGowran Park
24/04/2024WednesdayGowran Park
08/05/2024WednesdayGowran Park
22/05/2024WednesdayGowran Park
03/06/2024MondayGowran Park
16/06/2024SundayGowran Park
27/07/2024SaturdayGowran Park
14/08/2024WednesdayGowran Park
03/09/2024TuesdayGowran Park
21/09/2024SaturdayGowran Park
04/10/2024FridayGowran Park
05/10/2024SaturdayGowran Park
21/10/2024MondayGowran Park
09/11/2024SaturdayGowran Park

Check out our guide for the full list of Ireland’s 2024 horse racing fixture calendar.

Gowran Park Racecourse Address

The address of Gowran Park Racecourse is:

Gowran Park Racecourse
Mill Road
Gowran Demesne
County Kilkenny

How To Get To Gowran Park Racecourse

The ways to get Gowran races are:

  • By road – Gowran Park Racecourse is just a fifteen-minute drive and less than a couple from the village of Gowran itself.
  • By bus – on race days, a free bus service runs from the gates of Kilkenny Castle to the Racecourse that departs one hour before the first race with a return half an hour after the last scheduled race of the day. Bus Eireann operate services through Gowran village, but it is a short walking distance from the venue. There are up to eight departures a day from Dublin.
  • By train – the nearest train stations to Gowran Park Racecourse are Kilkenny and Thomastown, both served by Dublin and Waterford. Both stations have taxi ranks.
  • By air – Dublin Airport, which is served by a variety of international routes, is an hour and a half’s drive away and Cork Airport is approximately two hours away. For those travelling by boat, Rosslare Harbour is just ninety minutes’ drive away.

Hotels near Gowran Park Racecourse

The town of Gowran itself is too small for any hotels, but there is a casual B&B, Kilbawn Country House, nearby. Several hotels can be found in Kilkenny; including the River Court Hotel, Newpark Hotel, the Hotel Kilkenny and Kilkenny House. You won’t find chain hotels here but there are options to suit most budgets.

In the local area there are family-run B&Bs and Airbnb options as well as a few rural pubs offering rooms and some small guesthouses. There are also plenty of overnight accommodation options and hotels in Waterford and Carlow. Larger groups may find they need to travel further afield to find a hotel that can accommodate them all.

Gowran Park Racecourse does have a listed of ‘recommended’ hotels on its website but currently no negotiated discounts or offers.

Betting Shops Local to Gowran Park Racecourse

There are three different ways to bet at Gowran Park Racecourse – either through the on-site branch of BoyleSports betting site, through the Tote facilities or with the independent bookmakers in the Betting Ring.

Gowran itself is too small a village for a betting shop, but there are branches of Paddy Power betting, BoyleSports, Ladbrokes betting and indie bookmaker Pat Toolan in nearby Kilkenny.

Best Gowran Park Betting Sites

At British Racecourses we often recommend betting online and via apps when going to the races. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely.

If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals from this list of online bookies. All of these made our list of the best online bookies.

Gowran Racecards and Gowran Park Tips

The racecards for the Gowran Park races are released the day before the races take places, 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, some people like to do this and select their horses before getting to the track.

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

Other Events Held at Gowran Racecourse

For flat racing, the most important event is September’s Denny Cordell Lavarack Fillies Stakes; a Group 3 horse race open to fillies and mares aged three or over. Run over one mile, one furlong and one hundred yards, it is named after Denny Cordell-Lavarack, an English record producer who became a racehorse trainer in his later life and worked across Ireland. His family and friends remain the sponsors of the race to this day.

Gowran Park Weather

You may want to check out the weather so you can pick a good racing outfit and so you know the horse racing ground conditions in advance. Check out the Gowran Park weather:


Summary of Gorwan Park Races

A stunning Irish racecourse set in beautiful countryside, Gowran Park holds high quality flat and jumps racing throughout the year.

It is a popular course with the top trainers, jockeys and racing fans – as well as people just looking for a great day out.

Gowran Park is one of the top racecourses in Ireland – a must visit.

If you are interested in checking out any English racecourse, one of our favourites is the Haydock racecourse.

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