Welcome to our official guide to Navan Racecourse. In this section we explore this busy Irish racecourse in detail, looking at its history, hotel picks, fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather!
Owned by Horse Racing Ireland, the country’s governing body on all equestrian sporting events, Navan Racecourse is found in County Meath. Often referred to as one of the fast-growing racecourses in Ireland, the track hosts flat meets but it is widely regarded as a premier spot for National Hunt racing.
Navas is considered the ultimate test for National Hunt racing in Ireland. While the venue also hosts popular flat meets, these are more considered a day out for attendees than the chance to spot a future superstar.
Many jockeys test the mettle of their horses ahead of premium British races at this track, as the hurdling events are famously competitive. Multiple future winners of Grade One events have cut their teeth at Navan.
The track itself is a mile-and-a-half in length, curving to the left with the home straight composing of three-and-a-half furlongs. The finish is uphill, so some degree of stamina will be required for a horse to maintain pace and take a victory. The track is ideally suited to gallopers, as it contains lengthy flat stretches to build speed and momentum.
Navan is a relaxed and friendly racecourse, so there is no formal dress code. Smart casual is preferred, but the bigger concern is weather-appropriate attire. Most of the celebrated events at Navan unfold during the National Hunt season, so be prepared for cooler and potential wet conditions.
Navan first opened its doors in 1921, then operating under the moniker of Proudstone Park. Albert Lowry opened the track, deciding to embrace his twin passions for breeding hoses and gambling.
While Proudstone Park was considered a charming provincial racecourse, it really came into its own when Horse Racing Ireland took ownership. Today, Navan blends a relaxing atmosphere with state-of-the-art facilities and hugely competitive National Hunt racing.
Main Races and Meetings
Navan Racecourse has a year-round program that showcases both flat and National Hunt events. It’s hurdle chases that this racecourse specialises in though, with many of the more reputable prizes handed out for National Hunt competition.
A typical fixture list for Navan includes:
- January – One National Hunt meet, typically used to mark the arrival of a new year.
- February – Two National Hunt meets, including a pe-Cheltenham Race Day celebration. Notable races include the Flyingbolt Novice Chase and the Ten Up Novice Chase.
- March – Two meets, one flat and one National Hunt. The latter is typically part of the annual Shamrock Festival held on St. Patrick’s Day, with races that include the Webster Cup Chase.
- April – One flat meet, which includes the Ballysax Stakes.
- May – One flat meet, usually a Family Day, which hosts the Vintage Crop Stakes – the most prestigious flat racing event at the track.
- June – Ladies Day, which features a number of flat races.
- July – The Boyne Valley Race Day, featuring a range of flat races.
- August – The Boyne Valley Race Day, featuring a range of flat races.
- September – A flat racing day and the much-heralded Return of the Jumps Race Day, which marks the beginning of National Hunt season.
- October – Two flat meets, including Active Retirement Racing Day – the final flat event of the season.
- November – Fortria Chase Day and the Winter Ladies Day. Popular races that unfold at these events include the Fortria Chase, the For Auction Novice Hurdle (the only Grade One event at the track), the Monksfield Novice Hurdle and the Lismullen Hurdle.
- December – Two National Hunt meets, compromising a Christmas Party Race Day and Christmas Sponsors Race Day. The Tara Hurdle and Navan Novice Hurdle are hallmarks of these events.
As you’ll see from the above, most of the famous and celebrated events at Navan unfold during winter season. While the racecourse offers a fun day out all year around, it’s this period that really see it come it into its own.
It’s always best to check in advance if race meets are taking place, especially if travelling from afar. Fixture lists are always subject to change based on unforeseen external circumstances. Also be aware that Navan almost exclusively hosts fixtures at the weekend during daylight hours.
The official correspondence address of Navan Racecourse is:
How to Get There
Navan Racecourse is around 35 miles from Dublin, to the northwest of the capital city. This makes Dublin the closest airport to the track, but you’re still looking at around 45 minutes by road upon landing. A coach will transport passengers from the airport to Navan town centre on race days though, which is a short taxi ride away.
Driving in from Dublin, take the M3. Leave at Junction 8 (signposted Navan South) to get into the R147. Continue straight past three sets of traffic lights, turning right at the fourth. This will take you onto Flower Hill, with the rest of the route clearly signposted as Navan Racecourse.
The closest railway station to Navan Racecourse is Drogheda, though this is still too far for a taxi. You’ll need to take a taxi into the town centre of Navan, where an array of buses will escort you to the racecourse.
If you’re planning an overnight stay for your trip to Navan racecourse, be prepared to travel. No accommodation is located as close as you might like. Fortunately, this disappointment is tempered by the beautiful scenery that surrounds any hotel or B&B you may choose.
The Newgrange Hotel is the closest option, a little over two miles from the racecourse. If you cannot get accommodation here, look into the Ardboyne Hotel or Yellow House B&B, which are closer to three miles away.
Other Events at the Course
Navan Racecourse is not just home to racing meets, or even limited to private hire for weddings or corporate proceedings. This venue also hosts other events in the area, including county fairs, celebrations of Gaelic food and culture and folk music festivals.
Navan runs a full program of events throughout the year, so if planning a visit – especially outside of the peak National Hunt racing program – be sure to check the website for other occasions worth attending.
Our team as of July 2020 have reviewed the other following racecourses, all of them definitely worth a visit:
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