Curragh is one of the best racecourses in Ireland and one of the best in Europe. Very few Ireland racecourses (if any) have this reputation. The racecourse gets its name from Cuirreach, an Irish word that means ‘place of running horse.’
Many people consider it the house of flat racing in Ireland, and for good reasons. At the top of the list is the fact that it holds a wide range of quality horse races. As such, it’s no surprise that it has become the go-to destination for breeders and those looking for world-class training facilities.
The Curragh Racing Tips
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Curragh racecourse history
Like most courses in Ireland, Curragh has quite a rich history. The green grass on the course can tell tales of kings that have stepped on it a couple of centuries back. In the 17th century specifically, kings and noblemen regularly rode their horses on the grounds for racing, hunting, or hawking. Over time, the location grew popular for horse riding and was fitting to build a racecourse there. Thus, in 1727, the first horse race was recorded on these grounds.
It wasn’t long before the racecourse became the go-to destination for horse races. However, its status as Ireland’s horse racing course was only cemented in 1868 by passing the Curragh of Kildare Act. The act preserved Curragh’s purpose as a horse racing destination and settled the common pasture rights.
Two years before this act was put in place, horse racing lovers witnessed the first Irish Derby. The other horse racing classic followed in the 56 years that came. During this time, Curragh experienced a huge increase in stud farms and stables and became a huge contributor to Ireland’s economy. Today, Curragh Racecourse is the home of about 26% of all Irish-trained horses.
Horse racing attendances grew over the decades, which led to talks of the redevelopment of the racecourse. In 2015, the redevelopment plans were finally revealed. This would see the introduction of a parade ring, a new grandstand, and a weight room, as well as other grand refurbishments to the stables.
Curragh flat course
The Curragh flat course is not your ordinary track. It comes with several branches that races use for different events. For instance, the Pilate course is the furthest from the course stands and has the Derby Course on its inside. Races under two miles are run on this track. As you come closer to the finish line, you’ll notice an extra chute that often hosts races that are less than a mile long.
Curragh main racing events
Irish 1,000 Guineas
This horse race event was started in 1922. It’s a Group 1 event that only thoroughbred fillies over three years old can participate in. It is run for over 1 mile and happens every year in May. The first Irish 1000 Guineas was won by Lady Violette.
Irish 2,000 Guineas
This is a Group 1 flat race open to thoroughbred fillies and colts over three years old. It was started in 1921 and is run over a mile. Like the Irish 1000 Guineas, it is held every year in May. Soldennis won the inaugural race.
This is a Group 1 flat race that’s open to thoroughbred fillies and colts. It’s run for over a mile and takes place every year in June or July. Its earliest version was called O’Darby Stakes and was run in 1817. However, it was discontinued five years later.
This is yet another Group 1 horse race that is open to thoroughbred fillies three years old only. It is run over a mile and 4 furlongs and happens in July. It can be likened to The Oaks – a popular race in England. This event was started in 1895 and was initially over a mile long.
This is a Group 3 flat race that’s only open to thoroughbred horses three years old and above. It is run for 1 mile and 2 furlongs and happens every year in June and July. Initially, this race was run at Phoenix Park.
Irish St. Leger
This is a Group 1 flat race that’s only open to thoroughbred horses three years old. It is run over 1 mile and six furlongs in September every year.
Where to bet on Curragh races
Online betting sites
There’s the option of placing bets at the local bet shops at the racecourse. However, they only work for those who are physically present at the racecourse. The shops are convenient and a great option, but when compared to online betting sites, the benefits fade away.
With online betting sites, you benefit from horse history and stats that you can use to pick your best horse. Moreover, there are offers you can take advantage of that can greatly improve the amount you win from your bets.
To get all these benefits, you need to work with a reputable betting site. Luckily, there’s no shortage of such sites. Get one that’s licensed, supports multiple payments available in your region, and has a range of horse racing betting options, and you are good to go.
How to get to Curragh racecourse
Dublin Coach offers the service to Curragh Racecourse on race days. It transports people from Dublin Airport through Red Cow Luas and stops at Newbridge and Naas. It also moves from Westmoreland Street in Dublin through Kildare Village.
From Dublin, you should leave M50 on Exit 9 to enter N7 heading south. Then, exit M7 at Exit 12 which will lead you to the racecourse.
Taxis are available to drop you off at the course’s main entrance from Dublin City and the airport.
The most convenient station to use is at Kildare Town. There are also complimentary shuttle buses to take you to the racecourse.
If you are interested in flat racing, then Curragh is the place for you. It hosts about 18 races every year between May and September. It’s easy to get to the course, and there are a lot of amenities onsite.