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Curragh Racecourse

Published on: 03/09/2016

Curragh Racecourse is an important thoroughbred race course in Ireland. It is located on the Curragh Plain near to Newbridge, County Kildare. The right-handed track is horseshoe-shaped and approximately two miles long with a spur of one mile. Race goers often refer to the facility as “The Curragh”. It’s racing calendar hosts 18 meetings per annum starting in March and ending in October. Curragh Racecourse hosts all five of the ‘Irish Classics’ line up which comprises of the Irish Derby, The Irish Oaks, the Irish 1000 Guineas, the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Irish St Leger.

The first known written record of a horse racing completion taking place on the Curragh Plain dates back to 1727. It is thought that the Celtic Kings used the area as a meeting place for horseracing activities with the first official race being organized in 1741. In 1760, a Jockey’s Club was founded in the town of Kildare in a small coffee house. Over the years, the club grew and today it has become Irelands governing body for horse racing and is called “The Turf Club”.

The word Curragh is derived from an old Irish word meaning place of the running horse. Curragh Plain was officially made a common pasture in 1868. With almost 5,000 acres of land, the area was to be preserved for horse training and racing. The first Derby took place in 1866, and the winner was a horse called Selim. Next came the Irish Oaks racing event, which was initiated in 1895. The Irish St Ledger followed in 1915.

In 1921, with the signing of the treaty, the Curragh land was handed over from the British Crown to the Minister of Finance. The Irish 2000 Guineas was launched that May and the first Irish 1,000 Guineas was organized the following May. The land then went under the administration of the Minister of Defence as part of the Curragh of Kildare Act. In 1961, regulations were passed to allow certain areas of the plain to be enclosed, due to the grasslands being one of the oldest natural areas in all of Europe.

The Curragh Racecourse Railway Station was in service from 1875 until 1977. Race goers arriving from mainline trains in Kildare Town were offered complimentary shuttle busses to the venue. One of Curragh’s biggest turnouts occurred at the 2003 Irish Derby when over 21,000 spectators came to enjoy the major racing event.

Curragh Racecourse is Ireland’s most important horse racing track. The venue has the largest purses and biggest first-class flat racing events in the country. Since 2007, the track has hosted ten of Ireland’s Group One races, of which there are 12. The highlight of the year is the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day, held in June or July. Many of the world’s best race horses come to Curragh to compete for a huge prize of over a million pounds. Other highly anticipated racing events include May’s Guineas Spring Festival, the Darley Irish Oaks Weekend in July and the Gain Irish St. Ledger Meeting in September.

Ticket prices vary depending on race days and events. Adult entry fee is typically around £15 upwards. Classic race days and Derby Day prices range from £20 to £40. Children under the age of 16 years old can enter free of charge provided that they are accompanied by an adult. There are various packages available to purchase either online or on the day. Curragh Racecourse offers restaurant packages which start from around £45 per person. There are numerous eateries and bars such as the Balcony Bistro, The Horseshoe Restaurant and the Champagne Bar. All packages include admission badges, table for the day, lunch, cash bar facility and Tote betting facilities.

Published on: 03/09/2016 © Bet Bind