Tipperary Racecourse

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Located three kilometers northwest of Tipperary Town on the on the main Limerick-Waterford Road (N24) in County Tipperary, Ireland, the Tipperary Racecourse is conveniently adjacent to Limerick Junction railway station, where it hosts both National Hunt and flat races. The course’s flat, left-handed, oval track covers a distance of a mile and two furlongs, with a straight sprint track of five furlongs joining the main track at the entrance to the two-and-a-half furlong straight. In a season of 11~12 fixtures that runs from April through October, the main highlights are the €57,500 Group 3 Fairy Bridge Stakes in August and the Grade 2 Tipperary Hurdle in early October.

History

The Barronstown Course became the venue for hosting Tipperary Races, when its first recorded race meeting was organised on 27 March 1848. For more than six decades, Barronstown remained the centre of local racing attention, despite an abandonment lasting from 1871 to 1881 due to an outbreak of smallpox. When the Limerick Junction racetrack opened in September of 1916, the focus of racing shifted to the new location. The inaugural meeting at what is now the Tipperary Racecourse was attended by three illustrious trainers: Senator J.J. Parkinson, Charles Moore and Stephen Grehan.

Many of the best horses Ireland has ever seen raced at Limerick Junction. This owes at least in part to the fact that County Tipperary is steeped in every facet of horse tradition—home to the world famous Coolmore Stud and the volume of outstanding horsemen that have come from there, using this racecourse to hone their skills while providing high-class racing both on the flat and over jumps.

In 1986, Limerick Junction changed its name officially to Tipperary Racecourse. Over the last several decades, a reputation has developed for attracting juveniles that are gaining experience, resulting in an illustrious roll of honour in the form of maiden winners. For example, in 2002 the first two home in the Epsom Derby, the Aidan O’Brien trained High Chaparral and Hawk Wing, both won their two-year-old maidens at the Tipperary track. Others to have got their start here include Dylan Thomas, Bushranger, Yesterday and Heatseeker.

The majority of the Tipperary Racecourse fixtures offer a mixture of flat and National Hunt races. The €42,000 Tipperary Hurdle inaugurated in 2003 is the course’s biggest draw and it has featured such stars as Istabraq, Limestone Lad, Accordion Etoile, Harchibald and Go Native. Other big races here include the Grade 3 Grimes Hurdle and the Grade 3 Concorde Stakes.

Racing at Tipperary Today

The October fixture that includes both the Tipperary Hurdle and the Concorde Stakes has been dubbed “Super Sunday.” It is not only the last meeting of the year, but also the highest quality “mixed” meeting staged in the country. Another big event on the Tipperary Racecourse calendar is Ladies Day in July, with its “Best Dressed Lady” competition sponsored by Ballykisteen Hotel & Golf Resort. For all fixtures, the cost of general admission is €10--€8 for OAPs and students, a free for children under 18 years.

Food and beverage facilities available at Tipperary Racecourse include the Istabraq and Winning Post Bars, the Self Service Restaurant offering a wide range of delicious food and snacks, and catering outlets operated by the Fitzgerald Woodlands Catering Group. A Members Bar is located on the first floor of the Stand, overlooking the racecourse and finishing post, while the recently refurbished High Chaparral Dining Room features panoramic views of the course along with buffet to silver service dining.

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