Naas Racecourse is located 30km from Dublin, County of Kildare. It’s by far one of the most progressive courses in Ireland. Naas racecourse was set up in 1924, and since then, horse races have been held there every year. Even better, the number of races held has grown over the years. And if you are looking to take two meetings on the same day, you’ll be pleased to note that Naas is only 20 minutes away from Curragh (by road).
Over the years, Naas racecourse has positioned itself as a crucial trial track on both the over jumps and the flat races in Ireland. Many jockeys love to attend Naas races before they hit the big races both in Ireland and the UK.
One of the biggest achievements for the racecourse was when it hosted its first Grade 1 National Hunt race in 2015. With that short introduction, let’s take a deep dive into its history, course, and annual races.
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Naas racecourse history
Yes, Naas Racecourse was formally launched in 1924. However, like any big project, plans and preparations started in 1921. A local businessman, Thomas Whelen, brought together 30 businessmen and farmers to form the Naas Races Company. But before this, they each contributed £200 towards buying land at Tipper.
After overcoming many hardships, the Naas Racecourse was finally set up and ready for action. However, it lacked a lot of facilities that other racecourses at the time boasted about. It wasn’t until the 1950s that improvements were made to fill the gaping holes in facilities. The improvements included building a tote building, modifying building enclosures, enhancing the stand facilities, and building a new entrance from Dublin Road.
Over the years, Naas has hosted many famous horses like Arkle, who got his second career win during the 1962 Rathconnel Handicap Hurdle. Two years later, Ragusa went on to win the Ardenode Stakes at age four.
Today, Naas Racecourse is one of the well-equipped horse tracks. It also has a perfect mix of modern facilities, charm, and great value for money.
Naas Racecourse has one of the best galloping courses- it lets the horses stretch their legs. Unlike most left-handed courses, the bends aren’t as tight. Also, there’s a four furlong, uphill straight on the way to the finish.
Often, six or five-furlong races are held on the straight extension, allowing horses to sprint on a straight and flattened track. Usually, there isn’t any draw bias during the sprint races. However, when soft going, there’s a slight benefit of being on the outside where the ground is a little firmer.
During the National Hunt races, staying types are needed to cope with the uphill stretch to the finish. The stretch after the final fence is about two furlongs, but it’s uncommon to see horses come from behind and win. Instead, prominent horses and runners are usually favoured by the track.
The circuit has eight stiff fences that don’t give unfair testing to a horse’s ability to jump. However, be cautious of the ground between the top of the circuit and the winning post as it can get really heavy after winter rains than other parts of the track.
Naas main racing events
Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle
This is a Grade One National Hunt Hurdle that’s run every January over 4,023 miles. It is also known as Slaney Novice Hurdle. The course has 11 hurdles for horses to jump. Often, the horses that compete proceed to the Cheltenham Festival.
Blue Wind Stakes
This is a Group 3 flat race open to thoroughbred mares and fillies above three years old. It’s run over 2,012 meters every year in May. The event is named after an Irish-trained horse racer that won the Irish Oaks and Epson Oaks in 1981 and was established in 2001.
This is a Grade 3 National Hunt Steeplechase that’s open to horses aged five years and older. It is run over 3,218 meters and has ten fences. It is scheduled every year towards the end of February or the start of March.
Fillies’ Sprint Stakes
This is yet another group 3 flat horse race open to thoroughbred fillies that are two years old. It is run over 1,207 meters and is scheduled to take place yearly, either in May or June. The meeting was started in 2002 and was initially sponsored by Swordlestown Stud.
Fishery Lane Hurdle
This is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race that’s open to horses four years and over. It’s run over 3,218 meters and takes place in November. Its first meeting was in 2006.
Johnstown Novice Hurdle
This is a Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle race that spans over 2 miles and has eight hurdles. The event is held in February every year.
Where to bet on Naas races
Online betting sites
Yes, you can be at local betting shops, but online betting is even better. Below are some of the benefits it has over local betting shops.
First and foremost, online betting offers better odds. This is because betting shops have higher operational costs than online betting sites. To cater to these costs, they have to charge higher margins in comparison to online betting sites.
Also, online betting sites offer more bet options and support information to help you place calculated bets. Most importantly, betting sites offer more welcome bonuses, promotions, weekly offers, prizes, and betting features than shops.
Overall, online betting affords you more convenience, better odds, a better experience, and privacy.
How to get to Naas racecourse
If you drive from Dublin, head to N7 from R410. Then, leave N7 at Exit 9 and follow all the road signs. If you are driving from southern Ireland, take Exit 9 from M7. From here, follow the road signs to the racecourse.
There is a free shuttle service that caters to racegoers on every race day.
There is a taxi service that operates from Sallins station. You can book one in advance or get one when you are at the station.
The closest train station is Sallins. The station is found right outside town, so it’s convenient and cheaper.
Naas Racecourse is stunning and hosts state-of-the-art races every year. Over the years, it has built great facilities to complete its look and offer a great experience to races and racegoers. Notably, the course is fair, which allows good enough horses to shine. If you are looking for a great racecourse where you can find ample horse races to bet on, then you can’t go wrong with Naas Racecourse.