Fairyhouse Racecourse is a dual-purpose Racecourse located North of Dublin in County Meath. Fairyhouse host up to 20 meetings annually. Fairyhouse is home to the Irish Grand National, which takes place every year during the three-day Easter Festival. The Irish Grand National is one of Irelands feature races during the National Hunt calendar with a prize pool of €500k. The Grade 1 Ryanair Gold Cup and the Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Novice Hurdle are other top races during the week.
The Winter Festival is another feature Racing event during the Irish National Hunt season, which is held at Fairyhouse. There are 3 Grade 1 races on the Sunday including the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle, the Drinmore Novice Chase and the Hattons Grace Hurdle. The highest calibre of National Hunt racing will most certainly be seen over the weekend. The sole Group race on the Flat, the Brownstown Stakes, is held in July.
Fairyhouse Course Characteristics:
The course is a wide, galloping, right-handed, square shaped track. The circumference is roughly 1m 6f. There is a steady rise heading from the turn after the stands to the highest point of the track until a steady decline down the back straight. There is also a slight rise in the 3f home straight. The track is essentially a galloping track in nature. There are 11 fences on the chase course which are considered stiffer than a typical fence.
For course information and going reports on the day, Fairyhouse Racecourse provide updates on their Twitter account
Fairyhouse Pace Bias:
Fairyhouse is considered a very fair track. There is no general pace advantage over all distances but there are specific pace biases to consider over the flat and jumps. In non-handicap races on the flat, for example, 53 front runners have won from 240 attempts (22.08%) in the last 10 years, yielding a profit of 73.83 for every £1 staked. On the flip side, hold up horses have won 40 from 763 attempts (5.24%). In 8+ runner handicaps over 6f, front runners have a respectable strike rate and also perform better than the market suggests with a win P&L of 18.50 over the last 10 years. The run in after the final bend is quite short (just under 3f) so the case can be made that it would favour those racing prominently coming into the final turn, especially in larger fields.
The hurdle and chase courses are considered to be quite fair. There is no major bias but if you had backed every front runner in 8+ runner handicap chases over the last 10 years, you would have made 48.25 for every £1 staked. 58% of those winners were either front or prominent runners and if grouped together, there were less front/prominent runners than mid-pack stalkers or held up runners. There have been 2 successful front runners in the Irish Grand National over the last 10 years, including Rogue Angel at 16/1, but it is difficult to argue any pace bias over 3m 6f. Both front and prominent runners have also been profitable to follow over 2m 1f handicaps. The hurdle course in general seems quite fair, but in 2m non-handicap races, front runners have been historically profitable to follow with a win P&L of 55.17 over the last 10 years.
Fairyhouse Draw Bias:
There is no real draw bias at Fairyhouse. Over 7f, for example, high and low draws are tit for tat in 8+ runner handicap since 2009. Neither have been profitable to follow but a number of lower stalls have a positive PRB (Percentage of Rivals Beaten) figure. Stalls 1,2,3 and 5 are the top performing stalls in terms of PRB. The first turn, over 7f, comes quite quickly so it generally offers more of an advantage to race prominently to get a position. If we were given a guarantee that every horse broke evenly and kept the same pace until the 5 pole, the lower draws would be at an advantage because the higher stalls would have to take the first bend wide. So, although a low draw may be a slight advantage, pace from the stalls is a more important variable to consider. The 6f track is different again as there are less turns to deal with but similarly to 7f, pace is more important.
Fairyhouse Top Trainers:
It is no surprise to see Aidan O’Brien win the best win record (20.16%) over the last 10 years. John Oxx is close behind with 18.89%. David Marnane has been the most profitable trainer to follow with a win P&L of 42 for every 1 staked. Tony Martin has the best strike rate in handicaps (20+ runners) with a 19.05% win rate, closely followed by Johnny Murtagh at 18.6%.
Of the trainers with 50+ runners, Willie Mullins has the best strike rate of 24.56%. Of the smaller trainers, Padraig Roche has had 23 runners and won 7 races, which is a 30.43% win rate. He has won 5 out of 12 handicap races. Of the trainers with 20+ runners in handicaps, Jim Taafe has the best win rate of 22.73% followed by Philip Dempsey at 17.95%. Dempsey has also been the most profitable to follow in handicaps with a win P&L of 84.50.
Fairyhouse Top Jockeys:
Johnny Murtagh holds the best win rate over the last 10 years with 22.64%, followed by Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien with 21.21% and 20% respectively. Of the current jockeys, Colin Keane leads the way with a18.13% strike rate in all races. In handicap races, Ben Coen and Joseph O’Brien have the joint highest strike rate with 16.67% and Billy Lee has been the most profitable to follow with a win P&L of 29.
Patrick Mullins has the best strike rate of the National Hunt jockeys (since 2009) with 29.63% followed by Ruby Walsh in second at 28.76%. Removing NHF races would see Ruby well clear with a 28.76% strike rate. In handicap races, Danny Hand has a noticeably impressive strike winning 6 of his 21 rides with a win P&L of 43.63. Luke Dempsey has ridden every winner for his father, Philip, so he too has been profitable to follow with a win P&L 73.
*Figures correct as of 07/09/2020
|13 Apr 19:15||Mary's Pride||Ms L Ward||V Ward||40/1|
|13 Apr 18:45||Optical Confusion||J J Slevin||M Butler||5/2|
|13 Apr 18:15||Somptueux||Rachael Blackmore||H De Bromhead||5/1|
|13 Apr 17:45||Star Max||Donagh Meyler||J O'Brien||5/2|
|13 Apr 17:15||Paula's Prayer||Ricky Doyle||C O'Dwyer||11/1|
|13 Apr 16:45||Coulonces||Conor McNamara||G Cromwell||10/1|
|13 Apr 16:15||Now Where Or When||J J Slevin||S Crawford||5/2|
|13 Apr 15:40||New Society||Shane O'Callaghan||R Watson||14/1|
|05 Apr 17:40||Uisce Beatha||Simon Torrens||P Roche||11/2|
|05 Apr 17:00||Freewheelin Dylan||Ricky Doyle||D McLoughlin||150/1|
|J J Slevin||7||42||16.7%|
|H De Bromhead||6||85||7.1%|
|Mrs J Harrington||6||52||11.5%|