Curragh Racecourse, more commonly known as The Curragh, is Ireland's largest Horse Racing training ground, containing 80 miles of gallops over 1,500 acres. It hosts a range of festivals including the Irish Guineas Festival, Irish Derby Festival, The Oaks and Irish Champions Weekend.

For up to date information on upcoming events, you can check their website.

Curragh Racecourse characteristics

The Round Course is a right handed, undulating horse shoe with a 3 furlong home straight. It tends to suit the more galloping type.

As you can see by the course map, there are a handful of starting positions over 1m+ including The Derby Course.

The straight track holds the sprint distances with a dog leg extension that is run over 1 mile. There is a slight camber on the stand side down to the far side which can lead to drier ground on the stand side rail.

For information such going reports, stall positions and events, you should check out the Curragh Twitter page.

Is there a pace bias at the Curragh Racecourse?

The Straight Track and Round Course are are obviously two different types of tracks but generally, front runners do well at the Curragh.

The Derby Course is situated in between the Plate Course and Inner Course.There are lots of turns on the Derby Course and it can be more beneficial to be drawn low to get a prominent position.

The winner is generally difficult to catch on the straight with the uphill finish, with the exception of Santiago in 2020 who was drawn high and had to come from off the pace.

Since 2009, in 1m 2f - 1m 6f races (6+ runners), front runners have a 17.94% strike rate with a win P&L of 156.45 for every £1 staked (includes hndicaps and non handicaps). When paired as a group vs mid-division or hold up horses, front runners or prominent racers have won 63% of races. This would suggest that pace is more significant than draw, although it is beneficial to be drawn low to get that prominent position.

There is a similar story with the sprint track. In 5f - 7f races (handicaps and non handicaps, 6+ runners), front runners have a strike rate of 15.41% and have returned a win P&L of 253.43 to level stakes. Front runners or prominent runners have won 69% of races compared to just 31% won by mid-division or hold up horses.

Is the Curragh pace bias stronger than other Irish racecourses?

Interestingly enough, front runners at the Curragh perform below the average in comparison to the rest of the Irish racecourses on the flat.

Curragh Pace Bias Data

We have already seen that front runners are profitable to follow so this just suggests that there is a general front running bias at Irish Racecourses.

For comparison, horses that are held up at the Curragh, have a 5.13% strike rate, which is about the average for Irish Racecourses.

Is there a draw bias at the Curragh racecourse?

We have seen the significance of pace over all trips. Let’s dig a little deeper into any draw bias.

Looking at all races on the Round Course over 1m 2f - 1m 6f (6+ runners), stalls 1 and 2 have performed the best with a 13.10% and 10.93% win rate respectively.

Stalls 1 and 2 also have a positive PRB of 0.53 each. Although it is not a clear cut ladder, the lower stalls look to have a better strike rate in comparison to the wider stalls, but it is not a bias to get excited about (blindly backing the lower stalls would have yielded a loss).

What is the best draw and pace combination at the Curragh?

Looking at both pace and draw as a combination again highlights that early pace is important. Front runners that have come from stalls 1 and 2 perform consistently well. However, stalls 7, 8 and 18 have also seen front runners make all over 1m 2f - 1m 6f.

Curragh Pace Draw Bias Data

There is only enough data to support the lower stalls but most stalls have a positive A/E figure. A horse drawn wide that is likely to get a lead may offer better value over a low draw. The two winners from stall 18 were bigger than 20/1. Using a Pace Map, you can predict where the pace of a race will come from.

Curragh 6f draw bias

There are a lot of big field handicap races held on the sprint track, including over 6f. In the big field handicaps, the races tend to split into 2 or 3 groups and there has often been finishes where one group is favoured over the others.

Curragh 6f Pace Bias Data

There have been 109 races over 6f in the last 10 years. 51 of those winners (46.8%) came from a high draw. Conversely, a mid draw has proven to be less favourable with only 21 winners (19.2%).

Interestingly, better ground accentuates the high draw bias to a 55% strike rate with 28 winners from 51 races.

On Yielding to Heavy ground, low and high draws have won an equal 40% of races.

Who are the top trainers at the Curragh racecourse?

Aidan O’Brien is standout here with an 18.29% win rate since 2009. Despite that win ratio he's very unprofitable to follow blindly. If you backed each runner to the stake of £1, you would be at a loss of  -£322. He has had 60 runners in handicaps over the last 5 years, winning 20% of those races. Interestingly, if you backed each of his handicappers over the last 5 years to the stake of  £1, you would have made a profit of 26.98.

Curragh Top Trainers

Apart from the obvious trainer statistics, Johnny Murtagh has done well in 6f and 7f handicaps over the last two years and may be one to note going forward.

Curragh Top Trainers Data

Who are the top jockeys at the Curragh Racecourse?

It is no surprise to see Ryan Moore top of the Curragh jockey list due to his association with Aidan O’Brien. He an impressive 29.95% strike rate.

The most profitable jockey to follow over the last 5 years is Billy Lee with a win P&L of 68 to level stakes. He is also the top jockey to follow in handicaps over the past half decade with an 11.45% win rate and win P&L of 26.5. Interestingly, out of all the jockeys that have had 50+ handicap rides, he is the only jockey with a profitable strike rate which makes him a clear jockey to note at the Curragh.

What are the major races run at the Curragh each year?

Group 1 Races held at the Curragh:

Irish 2000 Guineas - (May)

Distance: 1 mile

Race Conditions: 3 year old colts and fillies (3 lb allowance for fillies)

Prize Purse: 250K

Tattersalls Gold Cup - (May)

Distance: 1 mile

Race Conditions: Three years old fillies only

Prize Purse: 235K

Irish 1000 Guineas - (May)

Distance: 1 mile & 2f

Race Conditions: Thoroughbreds aged four years or older. (3 lb allowance for fillies)

Prize Purse: 230K

Irish Derby - (June)

Distance: 1 mile & 4f

Race Conditions: 3 year old Colts and Fillies (3 lb allowance for fillies)

Prize Purse: 690K

Pretty Polly Stakes - (June)

Distance: 1 mile & 2f

Race Conditions: 3 year old + Fillies

Prize Purse: 250K

Irish Oaks - (July)

Distance: 1 mile & 4f

Race Conditions: 3 year old Fillies

Prize Purse: 230K

Irish St Leger - (September)

Distance: 1 mile & 6f

Race Conditions: 3 year old +

Prize Purse: 500K


*Figures correct as of 7/09/2020

Next Curragh Races
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15 Oct 16:25ThefaithfulindianColin KeaneA Howard9/2
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15 Oct 14:40Pretty RebelShane FoleyG O'Leary14/1
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15 Oct 13:00Rosie BassettShane FoleyMrs J Harrington13/8
11 Oct 16:40TakeachancejimmyAdam FarragherN Slevin9/1
11 Oct 16:10Mt LeinsterMr P W MullinsW Mullins1/3
11 Oct 15:40Cape GentlemanRonan WhelanE Mullins15/2
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