A Guide To Thurles Racecourse

Thurles Racecourse is a world-renowned venue for horse racing, located in the town of Thurles, County Tipperary, Ireland. It is the only privately owned racecourse in the country, and has been in the Molony family since the early 1900s. The course is an oval, right-handed track of one and a quarter miles, with an uphill finish that adds to the excitement of the races.

Thurles Racecourse is primarily known for National Hunt racing, but there have also been a limited number of flat meetings held at the venue over the years. The undulating terrain and turf surface make for a challenging course that tests the skill and stamina of both horse and rider. The course has undergone significant development and improvement in recent years, with a focus on enhancing the experience for visitors and making race days as enjoyable as possible.

History

Thurles Racecourse has a rich and storied history dating back to 1732 when a three-day festival took place at the venue. Since then, the course has been a staple of Irish horse racing, hosting both National Hunt and flat racing events.

The Molony Family

The Molony family has been an integral part of Thurles Racecourse since the early 1900s, when Pierce Molony took over the course from the committee that was running it prior. The Molonys have owned the course ever since and have made significant improvements to the facilities over the years, making race days as enjoyable as possible for patrons.

Notable Races

Thurles Racecourse has played host to many notable races over the years, including the Kinloch Brae Chase, which is named after a famous greyhound and is run over a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs. The race has been won by some of the most talented horses in recent history, including Don Cossack, who went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2016.

Other notable races at Thurles include the Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle, which is run over a distance of 2 miles and 6 furlongs and has been won by some of the most promising young horses in recent years. The Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase is another important race at Thurles, named after the man who has done so much to improve the course over the years.

Finally, the John Meagher Memorial Chase is another race that holds a special place in the hearts of Thurles Racecourse patrons. The race is named after the legendary jockey who won the Grand National in 1983 aboard Corbiere, and is run over a distance of 2 miles and 6 furlongs.

Track and Facilities

Thurles Racecourse is located in County Tipperary, Ireland. It is a popular destination for horse racing enthusiasts, hosting both National Hunt and flat racing events throughout the year. The track is known for its undulating right-handed course, which provides a challenging and exciting experience for both horses and jockeys.

Layout and Features

Thurles Racecourse has a circuit of around a mile and a quarter, with sections of the track being uphill. The track is sharp in character and favors the handy type of horse. There are seven fences and six hurdles on the National Hunt track, providing a challenging test for horses and riders alike.

In addition to the track, Thurles Racecourse also boasts a range of facilities for visitors. There are several bars and restaurants on site, as well as a range of hospitality options for those looking to make the most of their day at the races. The racecourse also offers ample parking and easy access for disabled visitors.

National Hunt Track

Thurles Racecourse is primarily known for its National Hunt track, which hosts jumps horse racing between October and March. The track is right-handed and undulating, with a fairly steep descent to the two-furlong home straight. The course is well-maintained, and the ground at Thurles is known for being amazing, as it never gets too deep. Even in the worst weather conditions, the ground only goes in five or six inches.

The National Hunt track at Thurles provides a challenging test for horses and jockeys, with the seven fences and six hurdles requiring precision and skill to navigate successfully. The track is particularly well-suited to horses that are able to stay the distance and have a good jumping technique.

Events and Bookings

Thurles Racecourse hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including both flat and national hunt racing. The racecourse is also available for private bookings, such as weddings, conferences, and other events.

For those interested in attending a race day, tickets can be purchased in advance online through the official Thurles Racecourse website or on the day at the gate. Prices vary depending on the event and the type of ticket purchased, with discounts available for seniors and students.

In addition to general admission tickets, there are also hospitality packages available for those looking for a more premium experience. These packages include access to private suites and dining areas, as well as complimentary food and drinks.

For those interested in booking the racecourse for a private event, Thurles Racecourse offers a range of options to suit different needs and budgets. The racecourse can accommodate events of all sizes, from small meetings to large-scale conferences and weddings.

Booking can be done through the official Thurles Racecourse website, or by contacting the racecourse directly. The racecourse offers a range of amenities and services to make your event a success, including catering, audio-visual equipment, and event planning assistance.

Overall, whether you’re looking to attend a race day or host your own event, Thurles Racecourse offers a range of options to suit your needs. With its beautiful setting and top-notch facilities, it’s no wonder that Thurles Racecourse is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike.

Trainers and Records

Thurles Racecourse has been the site of many thrilling races over the years, and the trainers who have come to compete have left their mark on the course. Here is a look at some of the top trainers and their records at Thurles.

Top Trainers

  • Willie Mullins – Willie Mullins has a 30.83% record at Thurles since 2009, making him the top trainer at the course. He has been particularly successful in hurdle races, with a 34.33% record in those races. Mullins is known for his talented horses and his ability to get them to perform at their best.
  • Gordon Elliott – Gordon Elliott has a 19.23% win rate at Thurles, making him one of the most successful trainers at the course. Like Mullins, he has had particular success in hurdle races, with a 26.92% record in those races.
  • Mick Winters – Mick Winters has the best strike rate in handicaps (19.05%) for any trainers that have had 20+ runners. He has had particular success in chase races, with a 23.08% record in those races.

Records

  • Most Wins – The horse with the most wins at Thurles is Sizing John, who won four races at the course between 2015 and 2017. Sizing John is trained by Jessica Harrington and is known for his success in steeplechase races.
  • Most Places – The horse with the most places at Thurles is Ballyoisin, who has placed in six races at the course between 2016 and 2019. Ballyoisin is trained by Enda Bolger and is known for his success in hurdle races.

Thurles Racecourse has seen some of the top trainers and horses in the world of horse racing compete on its track. With its challenging course and enthusiastic crowds, it is no wonder that so many trainers and horses have left their mark on the course.

Conclusion

Thurles Racecourse is a must-visit destination for horse racing enthusiasts in Ireland. With a rich history dating back to 1732, the venue has become one of the most popular National Hunt racecourses in the country.

Visitors to Thurles Racecourse can enjoy a range of facilities and amenities, including bars and restaurants, betting shops, and complimentary shuttle buses to and from the course. The course itself is an oval right-handed track of one and a quarter miles with six flights of hurdles and seven steeplechase fences in each circuit.

Thurles Racecourse hosts a number of high-profile races throughout the year, including the Kinloch Brae Chase, currently known as the Horse & Jockey Hotel Chase. This Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase is run annually in late January or early February over 2 miles and 4 and a half furlongs across 14 fences.

Whether you’re a seasoned punter or a casual spectator, Thurles Racecourse offers an unforgettable day out. With its stunning location in the heart of County Tipperary and its rich history and heritage, it’s easy to see why this venue is so popular with visitors from all over the world.


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