Gowran Park Racecourse

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.

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 Races

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 2022 Fixtures

The fixtures for Gowran Park 2022 are listed below:

  • Thursday 27th January Goffs Thyestes Day – National Hunt
  • Saturday 19th February Red Mills Day – National Hunt
  • Saturday 12th March Holden Plant Rentals Day – National Hunt
  • Thursday 7th April (E) – Flat
  • Wednesday 13th April (E) – Flat
  • Wednesday 4th May (E)- Flat
  • Wednesday 11th May – Flat
  • Tuesday 24th May (E)
  • Monday 6th June– Flat
  • Sunday 12th June – Flat
  • Saturday 23rd July – Flat
  • Wednesday 10th August (E) – Flat
  • Wednesday 31st August – Flat
  • Saturday 17th September – Denny Cordell Day Flat
  • Friday 30th September – National hunt
  • Saturday 1st October – National Hunt
  • Tuesday 18th October – Flat racing – Flat
  • Saturday 26th November – National Hunt

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. Check out the great Gowran hotel deals below: 


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:

  • 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. | begambleaware.org | 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 Racing

    888 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30

    New customers only – Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F – A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market – Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit method and withdrawal restrictions apply.

    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+ 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&Cs apply. #Ad

    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+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way.

    Full T&C's Apply

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.

Other Irish Racecourses

Check out our reviews of other Irish Racecourses today:

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.