A Guide To The Curragh Racecourse
Racing has been taking place at the The Curragh Racecourse in an unofficial capacity since 1741, and in an official capacity since 1868, from when it has grown to become “The Home of the Irish Classics”.
Its rich history is steeped with legends of the turf, with horses like Kingman, Canford Cliffs, Henrythenavigator, Dubawi, Sadler’s Wells and Grundy winning the Irish 2,000 Guineas, and Attraction and Ridgewood Pearl winning the 1,000 Guineas.
The Irish Derby has an even greater role of honour, as it has been won by Hurricane Run, High Chaparral, Galileo, Montjeu, Generous, Sharastani, El Gran Senor, Shergar, Troy and Nijinsky, whilst great fillies like Ouija Board have claimed the Irish Oaks.
The course is located 35km to the south-west of Dublin, and hosts 19 meetings a year, which start in March and end in October. It hosts 10 of Ireland’s 12 Group-1 races, with the Irish Derby traditionally the best attended fixture.
The track is right-handed, and shaped like a horseshoe with sweeping bends and an uphill 3-furlong run-in. It also has separate starting points for races over five, six and seven furlongs and a mile, allowing these races to be run on a straight course.
Jockeys think the Curragh is a great track to ride, with few hard-luck stories. However, a low-draw can be a significant advantage on the Derby track, as you can save a lot of ground being up against the fence. When betting on sprints, it’s a good idea to check out where the stalls will be placed, as a high-draw is often a big advantage when the stalls are positioned on the stand-side, but is still the preferred draw even when they race down the middle.
Top Trainers And Jockeys
There’s absolutely no surprise to see Aidan O’Brien at the top of the trainers’ table, but his 87 winners from 417 runners in the past 3 seasons returned a £54.97 level-stakes loss. Even worse were the likes of Dermot Weld, Jim Bolger, Mick Halford, Jessica Harrington and Eddie Lynam, all of who show a level-stakes loss of over £100. However, two trainers who you might want to keep on side are W. McCreery (+49 level-stakes profit), whilst Miss S J Harty’s impressive 25.71 strike-rate (9 winners from 35 runners) has returned a level-stakes profit of £55.
There’s only one jockey who catches the eye, and that’s Aidan O’Brien’s number-two J A (Seamie) Heffernan, whose 30 winners from 155 rides led to a level stakes profit of £75.40.