Cork Racecourse is a dual-purpose racecourse, located 36km north of Cork City, in a town called Mallow. Nicknamed “The Crossroads of Munster”, Mallow is situated in the heart of Munster and is easily accessible.
Cork Racecourse hosts two Group 3 races on the flat, The Munster Oaks in June and The Give Thanks Stakes in August. They also have a busy National Hunt season hosting six Graded races, most notably The Hilly Way Chase in December.
Cork Course Characteristics
The course is a right-handed, flat, oval shaped track. It is galloping in nature and has a circumference of 1m 4f. The chase course is situated on the outside of the hurdle track. There are 8 fences on the chase track including 6 regulations and 2 ditches. There are 6 jumps on the hurdle course. The flat track is made up of the round course and a straight sprint track. Groundworks began in 2017 to extend the 6f straight to a 7f straight. The redevelopment makes Cork Racecourse one of two courses in the Country with a 7f straight.
Cork Racecourse is situated on the banks of the Blackwater River and has a tendency to flood. They have undergone a number of drainage programmes over the years so the track drains quite well considering. The main drains are placed horizontally across the track which funnel into the river. The course is generally ready to race up to 48 hours after flooding. They are able to predict flooding at the track by measuring the height of the river upstream at Lombardstown on
waterlevel.ie. If the river is at 3.2 metres, the course will likely experience flooding within 3/4 hours.
For course information and going reports on the day, Cork Racecourse provide updates on their Twitter account
Cork Pace Bias
Although the flat track is made up of a round and straight course, the nature of the course yields a preference to prominent racers. The course and surrounding fields are very flat and it can be difficult to catch anything out in front. It is one of the best courses for front runners on the flat in the UK and Ireland. On the flat track, front runners have won a total of 23.01% attempts since 2009. If grouped together, front/prominent runners have won 75.29% of races when compared to mid-div/held up runners. For comparative reasons, this figure is similar to front running stats at Chester, which is considered a strong front running course. Interestingly, this figure is consistent on both the straight and round flat tracks. Front runners are also profitable to follow. If you backed every front runner in every flat race ran since 2009, you would have returned 288.67 for every £1 staked.
Front runners are also at an advantage on the Jumps course. Front runners are again profitable to follow on both the hurdle and chase course. The one anomaly is in handicap chases where prominent racers seemingly fare the best but there is not a lot of data to back it up. With handicaps and non-handicaps inclusive, front running/prominent running chasers fare much better than mid-div/held up horses.
Cork Draw Bias
The 5f and 6f straight track have consistently held high drawn runners at an advantage. The new 7f straight will likely yield similar results in time as fields over these distances try to race up the stand side rail. For context, in 5f/6f handicaps combined with 8+ runners since 2009, high drawn runners have won 31 out of 283 runs which is a 10.95% strike rate. High drawn runners have also been profitable to back, yielding a 29.75 Win P&L to every £1 staked. Low drawn runners have won 20 races out of 283 runs. High drawn runners have been continuously profitable to follow at Cork over these distances and still seem to offer value with a positive A/E figure of 1.05 and 0.57 PRB (Percentage of Rivals Beaten). Interestingly, when the ground has a bit of cut in the going, the high draw bias seems to level out with lower draws prevailing at times.
On the round course, a low draw is generally more favourable to get a better position on the inside rail. On the round course, a lower draw has seen a higher PRB score (0.52). Stalls 1,2 and 3 generally perform the best. Low drawn front runners have a 20% strike rate on the round course and conversely high drawn, held up runners tend to struggle.
Cork Top Trainers
Of the trainers with 50+ runners, Ger Lyons has the best strike rate since 2009 with a 21.77% win record, closely followed by Aidan O’Brien at 18.68%. Ger Lyons has also been profitable to follow with a Win P&L of 32.33 for every 1 staked. Of the smaller trainers, Paddy Twomey has enjoyed success at the course in the last 3 years winning 5 of 17 races (29.41% win rate) and also proving profitable to follow.
Willie Mullins has an incredible 32.52% win rate and has seen 55.21% of his runners in the places. Conversely, Gordon Elliott has a 16.42% win rate. Of the smaller trainers, Ray Hackett has won 5 of 15 handicap races with a Win P&L of 85 for every 1 staked.
Cork Top Jockeys
Of the current jockeys, Billy Lee has the best win rate with 14.4%. He has also been profitable to follow with a Win P&L of 24.47. In Handicap races only, Wayne Lordan has the best strike rate with 13.27% and a Win P&L of 46.
Patrick Mullins has the best strike rate, since 2009, with 32.91%. Ruby Walsh also has an excellent win rate with 29.3%. He was also slightly profitable to follow in that period with a win P&L of 4.69. Of the current jockeys, Paul Townend has a strike rate of 23.36%.
Donal McInerney has the best strike rate in Handicaps since 2009 with 25.93%, with Ruby Walsh very close behind. Donal has teamed up with Ray Hackett a couple of times, as well as local trainer Mick Winters.
*Figures correct as of 07/09/2020
|08 May 17:20||Battling Bessie||Miss A Fahey||J Fahey||18/1|
|08 May 16:45||Call Me Freddie||Rachael Blackmore||S Curling||11/4|
|08 May 16:10||Goulane Jessie||Denis O'Regan||S Spillane||16/1|
|08 May 15:35||Meticulous||J J Slevin||J O'Brien||13/8|
|08 May 15:00||Groveman||Conor McNamara||E McNamara||25/1|
|08 May 14:25||Gallowglass||K Brouder||S Ryan||9/2|
|08 May 13:50||Manitopark AA||Danny Mullins||W Mullins||13/8|
|08 May 13:20||Farout||Danny Mullins||W Mullins||9/4|
|07 May 19:40||Castletownbere||Billy Lee||P Twomey||3/1|
|07 May 19:10||Hale Bopp||Sam Ewing||G Lyons||9/2|
|Dylan Browne McMonagle||5||27||18.5%|
|Mrs J Harrington||10||83||12.0%|