Gowran Park Racecourse Guide

Built in 1914, just 13kms east of Kilkenny in a very scenic location is Gowran Park race course. A dual purpose track, it holds racing over the entire year and has seen some very notable winners of its major jump races in recent years, including Hedgehunter, Djakadam, On His Own, and Numbersixvalverde.

Noted as one of the most beautifully maintained and picturesque courses in the country, it is serviced by trains to Kilkenny from Waterford and Dublin stations. A free shuttle bus is then provided from Kilkenny to the track itself. One of the main features of the track is the highly regarded 18-hole golf course in the middle of the course that is available to play on if any day racing is not taking place.

Map

Swap Start/End

Ticket Prices

Ticket prices for the course are as follows: Adults €15, OAP / Student €10 with Children under the age of 18 free of entry.

The Course

An oval, right handed track with a complete circuit being 1m 4f, it is essentially a long galloping track that gets quite testing in soft ground. The undulations of the course mean it is a good test for jockeys who need to get a breather into their horse at the right times to have enough left in the tank for the three furlong uphill home straight including two of the seven fences placed on the chase course. There is a one furlong run in.

As a dual course, the flat track is essentially based on speed and it is better to be ridden prominently as it can be hard to peg back a horse who takes a tight line around the bend to the home straight with a low draw being a big help over short distances as being posted wide can mean a race being finished before it starts.

The fences are not particularly stiff although with the majority placed down the back straight, it really tests an animal’s stride pattern, as getting one wrong can mean a fall at the next fence. The third to last is be the hardest jump on the course.

Major Meetings at Gowran Park

Gowran hosts 17 meetings throughout the year with the highlight of those being the Thyestes Chase meeting in mid January. Other popular events are the National Hunt Trials days held in February, which see many of the top horses come to book their place at the big festivals both at home and abroad each season.

Dining and Hospitality

Gowran has a number of hospitality packages and, of course, bars and restaurants available to patrons each race day. The hospitality packages include:

  • Platinum Package: For €55 per person, you can receive your admission, a racing card, a reserved table in the Rooftop Restaurant, a four-course buffet menu, have access to a private bar, tote betting facilities, as well as a free shuttle bus from Kilkenny City Centre.
  • Gold Package: For €29 per person, you’ll get admission to the races, a race card, €10 to spend on food, as well as a €5 to spend at the bar, and access to transport via the city centre.
  • Silver Hen & Stag Package: For as low as €19 per person, you can spend your hen or stag do at Gowran Park, including your admission, a race card, a free beverage, a reserved area, as well as transport to and from the city centre.

Additionally, Gowran also offers discounts to groups of 10 or more where the Adult and Student / OAP prices are reduced to €12 and €8, respectively.