Set just 30kms from Dublin in the equine county of Kildare, Naas is one of the most progressive racecourses in the country. Established in 1924, racing has taking place at the venue every year since then with the list of fixtures only continuing to grow. For anyone looking to maybe take in two meetings in quick succession, Naas is located only 20 mins drive from The Curragh if you choose to stay locally.
Naas is one of the most important trial tracks on both the flat and over jumps in Ireland with many precursors to big races both here and in the UK taking place at Naas throughout the year. The track itself gained another major milestone in 2015 as it hosted its first ever Grade 1 National Hunt race when the Lawlor’s Hotel Novice Hurdle took place.
You can get the train from Dublin Heuston station to the nearby Sallins and then catch the bus from Sallins to Naas. Or, you can get a bus to Naas from Dublin directly, jumping on Route 126, which drops you off just a short jaunt from the racetrack.
General Admission prices for the course are as follows, Adults €15, OAPs €9 and Children U18 and Students under the age of 26 have free entry.
A left handed oval of 1m 4f with an uphill climbing 4f finish, each trip takes every yard of getting at Naas. A two-furlong chute at the entrance of the challenging home straight allows for five and six furlong sprints to take place on a straight course. This sprint track has always been a decent place to ride but that’s more the case now they’ve removed the ridges and carried out levelling work across the opening three furlongs.
The chase course is situated to the outside of the hurdles course and contains eight fences to a circuit, two of them coming on the four furlong home straight. They are best described as tough but fair, with the last of them coming in just over one furlong from the line.
Generally it pays to be handy round this course as the ground runs quicker throughout the second half of the circuit, making it more difficult for horses wanting to come off the pace.
POSSIBLE TO WIN FROM ANYWHERE
Five furlong starts are uncommon at Naas and due to the small sample size you really can’t make any definitive statements even if the data points towards a slight high drawn bias. This is especially true given the work they’ve done on the sprint course, something which, in theory at least, should have evened out the playing field in more recent years.
Unsurprisingly, there’s little in the way of bias over six furlongs either. Fields tend to congregate towards the middle of the course, partly due to the narrowing of the track but it also suggests the ground isn’t any better on either edge.
The draw is of not great importance during races stretching seven furlongs or a mile either. Both begin from a chute at the top of the course and from this point there is a long run prior to the home turn so jockeys have ample time to wrestle for a decent positon. If anything, the draw has a bigger impact during 1m 2f contests, which begin just before much left-handed turning but again it’s not really something you need to be wary of.
Major Meetings at Naas
The calendar has expanded to 15 meetings a year at Naas Racecourse. The highlight of which would be the National Hunt meeting in January featuring the tracks only Grade 1 of the year. On the flat, the pinnacle is the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes, which is run in May and has seen many winners go on to be solid Group 1 performers in recent years.
Dining & Hospitality
The panoramic restaurant at Naas has two packages from which to choose:
- The Four Course Experience: Includes admission to the races, a race card, a delicious four-course dinner, and a table reserved for the day all for just €53.50 per person.
- The Main Course Package: Includes admission to the races, a race card, a main course dinner with teas and coffees, and a table reserved for the day all for €40 per person.
Naas has 11 private suites that can hold between 12-120 people and packages for those start at €49 per person. Group party packages for between 8-120 people start at €30 per person and can be tailored to individual needs. Aside from this, Naas provides a number of on course bars and restaurants for patrons to choose from on each race day.