Curragh Racecourse

The Curragh
Location Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
Coordinates 53°9′55″N 6°50′43″W / 53.16528°N 6.84528°W / 53.16528; -6.84528Coordinates: 53°9′55″N 6°50′43″W / 53.16528°N 6.84528°W / 53.16528; -6.84528
Race type Thoroughbred Flat
Notable races
  • Irish 1,000 Guineas (G1)
  • Irish 2,000 Guineas (G1)
  • Irish Derby (G1)
  • Irish Oaks (G1)
  • Irish St. Leger (G1)
Official website

The Curragh Racecourse, usually referred to as simply the Curragh, is one of Ireland's most important Thoroughbred racecourses. It is situated on the Curragh plain in County Kildare, between the towns of Newbridge and Kildare.


"The Curragh race course", a 19th century print

The name "Curragh" comes from the Irish language word Cuirreach, meaning "place of the running horse". The first recorded race on the plain took place in 1727, but it was used for races before then.[1] The first Derby was held in 1866, and in 1868 the Curragh was officially declared a horse racing and training facility by act of parliament.

Racecourse redevelopment

Redevelopment of the Curragh grandstand and racecourse facilities began in 2017 with completion due in time for commencement of the 2019 Irish Flat season. A truncated racing fixture list continued to be held at the course during this period with temporary facilities in place for the public.[citation needed]


The Curragh is a right-handed track, horseshoe and galloping in nature with a testing uphill finish. The track spans two miles in distance with a one-mile chute.

The Curragh is home to all five Irish Flat Classics.

Johnny Murtagh has had more than 300 wins at the Curragh.
Top jockey Wins Rides %
Johnny Murtagh 330 1,943 17
Mick Kinane 327 1,968 17
Kevin Manning 256 2,600 10
Pat Smullen 238 2,275 10
Christy Roche 160 891 18
Trainer A. P. O'Brien has had more than 600 wins at the course.
Top trainer Wins Runs %
A. P. O'Brien 609 3,262 19
J. S. Bolger 391 3,558 11
D. K. Weld 340 3,203 11
John M. Oxx 330 2,321 14
Kevin Predergast 196 2,361 8

Training grounds

The Curragh training grounds provide trainers with the opportunity to prepare their horses on approximately 1,500 acres of training facilities.[citation needed] In addition to 70 miles of turf gallops,[2] there are approximately 12 miles of peat gallops and eight all-weather tracks available to work on.[citation needed]

Previous champion horses

Numerous elite level racehorses have run at the course prior to becoming multiple Group One winners around the world. Due to the fair nature of the track, the course has a reputation for attracting high quality two year old runners in particular, with many making their first racecourse appearances at the Curragh.

2009 World Champion Sea The Stars trained on the Curragh by John Oxx
Horse Trainer Jockey Race Won Year
Nijinsky M. V. O'Brien L. Ward Irish Derby 1970
The Minstrel M. V. O'Brien L. Piggott Irish Derby 1977
Storm Bird M. V. O'Brien T. Murphy National Stakes 1980
Shergar M. Stoute L. Piggott Irish Derby 1981
El Gran Senor M. V. O'Brien P. Eddery National Stakes / Irish Derby 1983/1984
Sadlers Wells M. V. O'Brien G. McGrath Irish 2,000 Guineas 1984
Vintage Crop D. K. Weld M. J. Kinane Irish St Leger 1993/1994
Salsabil J. Dunlop W. Carson Irish Derby 1990
Rodrigo De Triano P. Chapple Hyam J. Reid Irish 2,000 Guineas 1992
Ridgewood Pearl John Oxx J. P. Murtagh Irish 1,000 Guineas 1995
Kayf Tara Saeed Bin Suroor Frankie Dettori Irish St Leger 1998/1999
Montjeu J. Hammond Cash Asmussen Irish Derby 1999
Sinndar John Oxx J. P. Murtagh National Stakes / Irish Derby 1999/2000
Hawk Wing A. P. O'Brien M. J. Kinane National Stakes 2001
Galileo A. P. O'Brien M. J. Kinane Irish Derby 2001
Vinnie Roe D. K. Weld P. J. Smullen Irish St Leger 2001/2002/2003/2004
High Chapparal A. P. O'Brien M. J. Kinane Irish Derby 2002
Rock Of Gibralter A. P. O'Brien M. J. Kinane Irish 2,000 Guineas 2002
Attraction Mark Johnston Kevin Darley Irish 1,000 Guineas 2004
Ouija Board Ed Dunlop L. Dettori Irish Oaks 2004
Dubawi Saeed Bin Suroor L. Dettori National Stakes 2004
George Washington A. P. O'Brien Kieren Fallon National Stakes 2005
Hurricane Run Andre Fabre Kieren Fallon Irish Derby 2005
Teofilo J. S. Bolger Kevin Manning National Stakes 2006
Dylan Thomas A. P. O'Brien Kieren Fallon Irish Derby 2006
New Approach J. S. Bolger Kevin Manning National Stakes 2007
Yeats A. P. O'Brien Kieren Fallon Irish St Leger 2007
Halfway To Heaven A. P. O'Brien Seamus Heffernan Irish 1,000 Guineas 2008
Camelot A. P. O'Brien J. P. O'Brien Irish Derby 2012
Australia A. P. O'Brien J. P. O'Brien Irish Derby 2014
Kingman J. Gosden James Doyle Irish 2,000 Guineas 2014
Minding A. P. O'Brien Seamus Heffernan Moyglare Stud Stakes 2015
Winter A. P. O'Brien Ryan Moore Irish 1,000 Guineas 2017
Enable J. Gosden L. Dettori Irish Oaks 2017
Alpha Centauri Jessica Harrington Colm O'Donoghue Irish 1,000 Guineas 2018

Notable races


Bus and coach

On race days, there are shuttle buses from Kildare railway station to The Curragh. Dublin Coach's routes to Portlaoise and Ennis also serve the racecourse on these days.[3]

Former railway stations

The racecourse was once served by two railway stations: Curragh Mainline on the main Dublin–Cork line, which opened in 1846, and Curragh Racecourse at the end of a short branch to the grandstand, which opened in 1875. Curragh Racecourse station closed in 1977 and the branch was subsequently lifted, while Curragh Mainline fell into disuse in the early 2000s.[4][5]


  1. ^ – About/History
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Go to the Races – Bus Services to Curragh Racecourse". Dublin Coach. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  4. ^ Ayres, Bob (2003). "Irish Railway Stations" (PDF). Railscot. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  5. ^ "Curragh". Retrieved 19 September 2016.

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