Navan Racecourse is a great dual-purpose racecourse located 50km from Dublin. Navan is one of the premier National Hunt tracks in Ireland. It was opened in 1920 and has gone through some upgrades over the years (in 2014 and the 1900s). Currently, it’s one of the well-maintained courses in Ireland.
Navan is popular for its competitive race meetings, with several Grade 2 meetings held every year. Arguably, it’s one of the fairest courses for a horse preparing for a National Hunt horse in Ireland.
Aside from its amenities, rich history and outstanding horse races, Navan is popular because you can get there fast and easily. We cover more of these below.
Navan Racing Tips
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Navan racecourse history
Navan racecourse opened its doors in 1920. At the time, it went by Proudstown Park. Albert Lowry, a local auctioneer, breeder and gambler, came up with the idea of building the course. By the time the racecourse was being launched, the course wasn’t complete. However, the management boasted steam central heating to help the races take place during winter.
They did this knowing the course would need upgrades. So later, they reconstructed the course to get rid of the obstruction from the County Stand.
Navan is one of the left-handed courses in Ireland. It’s a rectangular track that’s 1m 4 furlong long and has a stiff uphill finishing stretch about 3 furlongs long. The finishing stretch (the straight) joins a small chute at the final turn, allowing horses to sprint to the finish.
Although Navan racecourse is galloping in nature, the ground gets sticky after the winter rains. As such, a horse must have great stamina, especially with the steep uphill finish.
The chase course has nine fences (seven plain fences and two ditches). Three of the obstacles come in the stiff uphill straight with a run-in that’s one furlong long.
The fourth fence from home is the trickiest of all the fences since it’s followed by an immediate turn after landing. To take this fence successfully, the rider should give the horse a breather in the back straight.
Navan racecourse has gained a solid reputation for itself over the years. You’ll rarely come across a trainer or jockey speaking ill of the track. As such, the best horse always wins here. There will be no excuses being directed to the condition of the course.
Also, there’s no pace bias. Jockeys can win coming from the back or midfield and without any special tactic. Moreover, there’s no draw bias as no stall proves better than the other sprint course. Overall, for the National Hunt and flat races, Navan comes off as one of the fairest courses in Ireland.
Navan main racing events
Navan Novice Hurdle
This is a Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle that takes place in December. It’s run over 4,023 meters. The inaugural run was in 1999 and was completed over 2 miles before being increased to its current distance in 2000. Initially, it was a Grade 3 race, but in 2004 it was upgraded to Grade 1. However, in 2014 it was downgraded again.
The season’s top novice jockeys who later proceed to the Punchestown Festival and Cheltenham Festival compete here.
This is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase race that’s open to horses above five years. It is run over 3,219 meters and takes place every November. The race is named after a prominent Irish-trained chaser. Initially, it was a handicap race and was open to horses over four years old.
Vintage Crop Stakes
This is a Group 3 flat horse race that’s open to thoroughbred horses four years and older. The race is run over 1 mile and 6 furlongs and takes place in April. The race was initially run in 2003, and in 2014 it was upgraded to Group 3 level.
This is a Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle, and that’s open to horses above four years old. It’s run over 4,023 meters and takes place in November. When it first started, it was restricted to amateur jockeys and was contested in December and over 2 miles and 5 furlongs long. In 1991, it was reduced by 2 furlongs and stopped being an amateur race.
Monksfield Novice Hurdle
This is a Grade 3 National Hunt novice hurdle race open to horses over four years old. It is 4,023 meters and is held in November. It was first held in 1995 and is named after a prominent Irish-trained hurdler. It started as a Grade 3 race, then it was upgraded to Grade 2 and later downgraded to Grade 3.
This is a Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle that’s run in February. It covers a distance of 4,225 meters and has 12 hurdles.
Webster Cup Chase
This is a Grade 2 National Hunt chase that is only open to horses over five years old. It is run over 3,219 meters and takes place between March and April every year. The inaugural race was in 2000.
Where to bet on Navan races
Which is the best way of horse race betting? Well, there’s no correct or wrong answer. The choice depends on what you prefer judging from the differences therein.
Online betting sites
The beauty of online betting is that you don’t have to travel to place your bet. You can do it from your phone and from anywhere, provided you have an internet connection. Moreover, with online betting platforms, you can place a bet any time you please, and they guarantee your privacy.
Most online sites offer regular promotions and great odds. They can afford to do this because they have fewer overhead costs compared to betting shops.
How to get to Navan racecourse
You can board a bus from Busaras from 7:30 and every hour after that to the racecourse. The bus stops at Navan town centre where you can get a taxi.
There are taxi services from Navan town centre. You can call for a taxi or book one online to take you to the racecourse.
Drogheda station is 24km from Navan. You can board it to Navan town centre from where you’ll take a taxi to Navan Racecourse.
Dublin is the closest airport to Navan. You can use an Aircoach service to get into Navan town centre from where you can get a taxi to the racecourse.
Navan is a fair course loved by jockeys and trainers and is popular for flat and National Hunt races. It’s easy to get to, and there is plenty of parking available. If you are a horse race lover, then this is a good racecourse to check out.