Listowel Racecourse is situated in County Kerry in Ireland, and is most famous for its Harvest Festival – a 7-day extravaganza which takes place in September, and combines National Hunt Racing and Flat Racing which delights bumper crowds. For those wishing to get dressed up – Ladies Day is traditionally held on the Friday of the Meeting,
However, the headline race of the Harvest Festival is the Kerry National, a fiercely contested class-1 chase run over 3-miles, whose most famous winner is the 1997 victor Doran’s Pride. This is traditionally held on the Wednesday of the Meeting.
Listowel only hosts 9 racing days per year, with the other fixture being a 2-day fixture in June which usually coincides with the traditional Irish Bank Holiday Lá Saoire i mí Mheitheamh.
The Jumps Tracks
Speedier hurdlers and chasers that can travel up with the pace are often favoured at Listowel, and there is little emphasis on stamina because of this. However, when the ground is very soft it can become quite holding, and lots of horses will quickly get strung out if they don’t handle conditions. The track itself is a 10-furlongs left-handed track, with 5 fences to jump per circuit, whilst a run-in of just less than a furlong again tends to favour those who race close to the pace. The fences are traditionally quite stiff, so avoid dodgy jumpers.
The Flat Track
The flat track can ride very different, depending on the ground, as it measures just 9-furlongs in length, and is very sharp, with a run-in of around 2-furlongs. On fast ground, a horse must be able to travel at speed, whilst a low draw can be a significant advantage. However, slow ground can be a great leveller and jockeys tend to think that the course is much fairer when it rides this way. Again, watch out if the ground is heavy though, as many horses just fail to get through it, and stamina suddenly becomes a must.
Trainers To Note At Listowel
Dermot Weld has trained the most winners of any flat trainer here in the last 3 years, with his 10 winners from 32 runners coming at an impressive strike rate of 31.25. However, you’d still show a level-stakes loss of -£6.04 if you’d backed all of his runners. Therefore, the trainer to note could be W McCreery whose 5 winners from 21 runners have produced a profit of £11.50.
Meanwhile, two trainers who are well worth taking note over fences are Henry De Bromhead and JP Ryan. De Bromhead has saddled 7 winners from 16 runners for a level-stakes profit of £12.43, whilst JP Ryan’s 5 winners from 10 runners is even more impressive with a strike-rate of 50% and a profit of £24.32.
Noel Meade is also worth noting over hurdles, as 3 of his 6 runners have obliged for a nice little profit of £7.50.
Jockeys To Note At Listowel
One jockey stands out over the last three seasons, and that’s jump jockey D.E. Mullins whose 5 winners from just 10 rides returned a tasty profit of £24.33. Meanwhile, two flat jockeys who have returned big profits by riding a big outsider or two are RP Cleary and R Coakley.