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Dundalk Stadium Racecourse

Published on: 03/09/2016

Dundalk Stadium is located to the north of Dundalk Town in County Louth, Ireland. The facility is the only floodlit, all-weather track in Ireland. It is exclusively used for horse and greyhound racing. Its flat left-handed polytrack surface is laid out in an oval shape over a distance of ten furlongs, with a five-furlong sprint track. Dundalk Stadium hosts 36 events every year which usually take place in the evenings. The Group 3 Diamond Stakes is the venue’s most important fixture and is held every October.

Dundalk Stadium has been staging traditional racing for more than one hundred years. The first official horse race to be recorded took place in 1889, while greyhound racing was initiated in 1930. Around this time the racecourse was laid to turf and was mostly used for National Hunt races including hurdles and steeplechases. By the 1990s, Dundalk Racecourse was in desperate need of expensive refurbishments.

Dundalk Race Company PLC and Dundealgan Greyhound Racing Company Ltd joined forces to create Dundalk (1999) Ltd. The newly-formed company became responsible for controlling Dundalk Stadium. Initial changes under the new management included the ceasing of the jumps racing events in 2001, and the closing of the old turf track. New ideas were put into place for a state-of-the-art facility, with a course suitable for year-round action and floodlights for evening racing.

The first stage of the renovation to be completed was the Greyhound track, which opened in 2004 at a cost of £11 million. In 2007, the horse racing track was completed at a cost of £24 million. Dundalk Stadium is considered to be the best entertainment facility of its kind in the region. All-weather surfaces such as the polytrack at Dundalk allow for year-round racing, regardless of the conditions. Jockey Clubs tend to specify the going at polytracks as Standard, indicating similar characteristics to a Good to Firm or Good turf track. The latest polytracks are composed of a mixture of materials such as silica sand, synthetic fibres, plastics and rubber which are all coated in wax. It is possible for horses to perform at their very best on these types of tracks.

A total of €35 million has been spent on Dundalk Stadium in order to build a modern grandstand, all-weather track, kennel block and stables to accommodate over 100 horses. In addition, the venue boasts top-quality viewing areas, full-service bars and numerous eateries. There are several fine-dining options including the Champions’ Restaurant and Silk’s Bar & Carvery. Dundalk Stadium has a smart/casual dress code and prohibits shorts, jerseys, tracksuit bottoms and baseball caps.

Greyhound racing and horse racing events are often mixed to create Dual Fixture Nights. These events occur on Fridays and Saturdays and can include up to eight horse races and eight greyhound races. The final greyhound race takes place around 10.20pm after which the racing action is followed by live music. In 2008, the October Diamond Stakes were re-located to Dundalk Stadium. A year later, the annual event became the first non-turf Group race in Ireland, having been promoted from Listed to Group 3 status. Dundalk Stadium hosts many listed races such as the Star Appeal Stakes, the Cooley Stakes, the Calingford Stakes and the Mercury Stakes.

Published on: 03/09/2016 © Bet Bind
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