Dundalk, Ireland

At the time of writing, Dundalk is Ireland’s only all-weather track, although I believe there are plans afoot for one in the Co. Tipperary region.

Getting there

Dundalk is in Co. Louth, situated about 50 minutes North of Dublin airport, and just across the border from Newry, Co. Down.

Racecourse

Car park very close to the stand – no trekking across fields! It’s a great facility – modern, spacious, set over 3 floors. Whoever planned the whole venue did an excellent job.

There is an area serving hot meals, plenty of bars and on the 1st floor you can watch the racing through the floor to ceiling windows. In keeping with the all-weather theme, there is limited room given over to an outdoor stand, although plenty of standing room on the flat tarmac below the stepped part of the stand. In the winter the ‘ring’ is inside too.

General vibe

It’s very much promoted as a Friday night party event for groups ‘Friday nights under the lights’ so can be quite lively, but there are also a lot of serious race fans in attendance too. There is usually a 9/10 race greyhound card after the horse racing finishes, so can be quite a night if you want it to be!

Summary

I would never have dreamt of going to the all-weather, but due to an involvement in a couple of horses, I have been about 6 times in quick succession and have had a fantastic experience each time (separate from the experience of having an interest in the 2 horses). The cost of food and drink is more than reasonable and looking at the promotional literature for the party group hospitality offerings, that appears great value too. Staff are switched-on and efficient and the venue is designed over a compact area, so would suit those with limited mobility – the parade ring is in very close proximity to both the stand and the viewing for the track.

A lot of horses that go on to dizzy heights had their first win at Dundalk including Caravaggio, so you never know what you might witness, on a relatively low-key outing.

Caravaggio in January 2020, standing at Coolmore Stud, Co. Tipperary

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