Thurles Racecourse Guide

There are three racetracks in County Tipperary with Thurles being the only privately owned race track throughout the entire country. The track has been hosting racing since 1732 and is seen as ‘the place to go’ for National Hunt racing. It is jokingly referred to as the “first all weather track in Ireland” due to its remarkable drainage, which seems to withstand any amount of rain that pours down on top of it. This is a great feature seeing as the majority of its racing takes place in the winter months.

The track is usually busy early on in the year, hosting a variety of big early season Grade 2 races and is only one of four National Hunt only tracks in the country.

The racecourse is located in Thurles, so it’s very easy to get to by bus or by train with one of the train stations being just one-mile away. There’s also a shuttle that can pick you up from the station that goes directly to the racecourse. If you’re flying in for a race, the nearest airports will be Knock and Waterford.

Map

Swap Start/End

Ticket Prices

General Admission prices for the course are: Adults €15, OAP/Student €7 and Children under 14 Free.

The Course

Thurles is a right-handed track that is 1m 2f in distance, which is very much suited for a horse ridden up with the pace. Parts of the track have a slight incline, but there is a very steep descent for about 3 furlongs with the home straight being 2 furlongs long. It is a course which rarely sees the ground turn too soft or heavy even in the darkest of winter months.

There are a total of seven fences along the track with two in the final home stretch. It is crucial that jockeys get a breather into their horses going down the back straight, as otherwise it might be a challenge to make it home, as the horses come from just off the pace in the home straight.

The hurdles course is slightly sharper and tighter in nature with six obstacles to a circuit - two in the home straight with a run in of just over a furlong. Even more so than the chase course, it pays to be ridden prominently on this track.

The majority of racing takes place at the course on Thursday afternoons except for an annual Sunday meeting in the week leading up to Christmas.

Major Meetings at Thurles

Thurles holds a total of 11 meetings between October and March each season. Most of this fixtures take place on a Thursday. Thurles hosts two top Grade 2 contests with the Kinloch Brae Chase in January being the pick of these. Don Cossack and Newmill are two famous previous winners of the race.

Dining and Hospitality

Thurles features two bars: one in the stand and the-always-packed "Draught Bar”, which is located right beside the famous hot beef roll counter beside the parade ring. There is also a self service restaurant located on the track, which serves a delicious menu of hot food, as well as containing several big screens and a tea room adjacent. There are also the various karts, stalls, and vans that one would expect to see at any Irish race meeting.