Listowel Racecourse

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Welcome to our official guide to Listowel Racecourse.

Sitting just south of the town of Listowel in County Kerry, south-west Ireland, Listowel Racecourse has been in its present location for over 150 years and plays home to some of the biggest races in the Irish racing calendar.

We explore this Irish 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 Listowel Racecourse:

Listowel Races

Overview of Listowel Races

Listowel Racecourse is one of the most attended and popular racecourses in the whole of Ireland, with as much a focus on the horses as the fun and atmosphere to be enjoyed.

The course hosts both flat and National Hunt racing. It only holds nine meets a year so isn’t a busy course but does draw big crowds when it is open. It also hosts conferences and other private events.

Listowel Racecourse has benefitted from a hoard of investment in its visitor’s facilities over the years and now boasts several hospitality suites, a restaurant and multiple bars.

Listowel enjoys a reputation as a friendly and fun course and so despite its rural location is often the first course many racing newbies ever attend.

Listowel Racecourse History

Racing at Listowel can be traced back to an annual gathering in the 1800s held at Ballyeigh, around 9 miles from the current venue.  This event included horseracing, boxing and other sporting games and the most documented instance was at Ballyeigh Strand in June 1834 on the Feast Day of St John the Baptist. This day is so well recorded because it ended in tragedy. Over 3,000 people ended up rioting, over 200 lay dead. As a result, all racing was suspended at Ballyeigh and transferred to nearby Listowel, where it first took place in 1858.

A full history of Listowel Races is available in book form and is a popular read with tourists who are visiting the town.

Main Races and Events at Listowel

The biggest event in the calendar at Listowel Racecourse is Ladies Day, which sells out every year. The Best Dressed competition is one of the most hotly contested at any racecourse and so the occasion attracts both those who want to showcase their outfits alongside those with a keen interest in fashion and couture. The day is so popular that it wasn’t even cancelled during the coronavirus lockdown like everywhere else – and instead, it shifted online! Ladies Day is held on the Friday of the week-long Harvest Festival meet every year.

The Harvest Festival began as a two-day meeting but demand for tickets resulted in it being extended to the seven-day format it enjoys today.

The racing highlight of the festival is the Kerry National, a highly valuable handicap chase run previously by Alamshar.

Listowel Racecourse Map

There are two courses at Listowel, the flat and jumps course.

Listowel Flat Track

The track at Listowel Racecourse is left-handed, flat and rectangular, measuring just over a mile with a run-in of 2 furlongs.

When it is firmer, a low draw helps and pace can be hugely important on the flat course.

Listowel Flat Course

Listowel Jumps Track

There are 5 hurdles and 6 fences on the National Hunt circuit, and it is considered a tight track.

It rides best when soft, but can get very heavy; at which point it takes an awful lot of getting.

Listowel Jumps Track

Listowel Racecourse 2024 Fixtures

Listed below are the dates for the 2024 fixtures at Listowel Racecourse:


Find out more information on the Irish horse racing fixtures calendar 2024.

Listowel Racecourse Address

The official address of Listowel Racecourse is:

Listowel Racecourse
Tralee Road
County Kerry

How To Get To Listowel Racecourse

The ways to get Listowel Races are:

  • By road – Listowel Racecourse is in a rural location but there are several travel options available. Just a kilometre south of the town of Listowel on the N69 road, it is driveable from Dublin (in just over 3 hours), Sligo (in about 4 hours), Cork (in less than 2 hours) and Galway (in about 3 hours).
  • By bus – there is a daily bus service from Tralee that serves Listowel Racecourse but there are no special services for events so travel times must be judged on the standard timetable.
  • By train – Listowel itself is not served by a train station, but the nearest is Casement at Tralee; about a half an hour car ride away.
  • By air – The nearest airport is Kerry Airport, which is served internationally and is another half an hour drive away from the racecourse.

Hotels near Listowel Racecourse

Listowel is fairly rural and so there aren’t lots of accommodation options close to the racecourse, but there are some.

In the town itself, the Listowel Arms Hotel is the most premium option at around £120 a night, followed by the Behan’s Horseshoe Bar rooms at around £100 and then the Carriglea B&B at around £77 a night. There are some Airbnb and independent holiday rentals in Listowel, but these are primarily quite small and so not always suitable for large groups or families.

More hotels can be found half an hour down the road in Tralee, but there is a country hall hotel in Ballybunion and a glamping site in Ballyduff; both within quick driving distance.

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Betting Shops Local to Listowel Racecourse

Listowel is a rural location and so betting in person rather than online and relying on a mobile signal or readily available Wi-Fi is encouraged. There is no free Wi-Fi available at the racecourse itself, but guests in conferencing and hospitality suites can often access these services if they ask.

Listowel Racecourse has its own bookies branch and independent bookmakers that can be found outside of the main grandstand in the Betting Ring. As with most racecourses, the indie bookmakers are where the most competitive odds are usually offered.

The town of Listowel has a branch of Ladbrokes Horse Racing and one of BoyleSports Horse Racing both in the centre, as well as independent bookmakers Brownes.

There are more branches of bookies in Tralee but the variety of chains is not much improved to that on offer in Listowel and so in most cases, it’s not worth travelling to place a bet.

Best Listowel Betting Sites

At British Racecourses, we often recommend betting online and via horse racing 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.

The betting sites all made our list of the current best gambling sites.

Other Events at Listowel Racecourse

The only race meets other than the Harvest Festival held at Listowel Racecourse is the Summer Festival.

This too sees vast demand for its tickets and so is currently in the process of being extended from a two-day event to three.

Listowel Racecard

The racecards for Listowel Races are released the day before the races take place, 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.

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

Listowel Weather

It’s good to keep up with the weather conditions for your day at the races, this is so you can plan what to wear for a day at the races and also so you know the racing conditions.

Check out the Listowel weather:


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Listowel Racecourse Summary

A trip to Listowel Races is hugely popular and a great day out.

The main event is the Harvest Festival, a mixture of national hunt racing and flat racing. The main race hosted at the course is The Guinness Kerry National.

Listowel is known as being a great day out for friends, family and racing fans. It is one of our favourite racecourses and we recommended 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: