Fairyhouse, Ireland

Home of the Irish Grand National, Fairyhouse is situated in Co. Meath. Accessible by road and on major racedays by bus.

Local area

Ratoath is the closet village and has a couple of good bars there, if you want to pre or post racing drinking, or both. A bit further afield Ashbourne and Dunshaughlin both have bars aplenty, with Ashbourne having a couple of hotels, if you’re planning a bit of a trip.

Racecourse

Facilitates both flat and jump racing. The feature meeting of course being the Irish Grand National meeting at Easter and also the Grade One Royal Bond meeting end November/early December.

For those of a claustrophobic nature, the Grand National day is probably not the greatest idea. Fairyhouse is fairly light on facilities for a day like this. I would strongly advise booking hospitality well in advance for such an event.

Davy Russell accepting a reward in recognition of winning the British Grand National the previous day on Tiger Roll (2019)

If you’re local and wish to support both Fairyhouse and Navan, there is a combined annual membership, which gives you access to the members lounge, which should be a far more enjoyable experience, particularly at Fairyhouse.

Navan, Ireland

A fantastic dual-purpose track in Co. Meath. Has been much improved down the years and offers some great racing particularly over the jumps in the months leading up to Cheltenham.

Getting there

Navan is about 45 minutes from Dublin airport and can be reached by car and buses from Dublin City Centre on specific racedays.

Racecourse

Like the majority of racecourses in Ireland, well-managed and welcoming.

Ample bars and a separate coffee shop with slouchy sofas , there is also a cafeteria which serves up carvery dinner and sausage & chip type meals.

Navan stages an enviable programme of races including the Troytown & Fortria Chases, the Boyne Hurdle and on the flat the Group 3 Vintage Crop Styakes.

It’s always well-supported by locals and visitors from the North as well as the rest of Ireland.

It’s viewed as a good testing track for those heading to Cheltenham.

Tiger Roll on his comeback race, Boyne Hurdle – February 2020. He later went onto the Cross Country at Cheltenham and ran a valiant 2nd

Summary

You’ll have a great day out at Navan regardless of the calibre of racing. You’ll be well-looked after, in a relaxing laid-back environment.

HQ – Newmarket, Suffolk, UK

This is a practical guide to horse racing tracks visited, reviewed from a practical and social viewpoint. It is not intended to be a technical guide to the characteristics of a given track. If you wish to learn about the nitty-gritty of individual track trends etc. you will find other sites more relevant to that objective.

It aims to advise on the optimum logistics of travelling to a new racecourse, where to eat, stay and other guidance on what to expect.

This blog will be a moving feast, with updates as new tracks visited and revisted.

If you wish to share any of your experiences and feedback, please leave a comment or email: amanda@short-call.com