Leopardstown is a dual purpose racecourse located near the Irish capital city, Dublin. Due to the ability to hold both flat and jumps meetings, Leopardstown host over 20 meetings annually, including 13 Grade 1 races over Jumps and 2 Group 1 Races on the flat.
The most up to date information on upcoming meetings can be found on the Leopardstown website.
The highlight of the flat calendar is Irish Champions Weekend, which is held in September. The Irish Champion Stakes and Matron Stakes are the feature races at this meeting. The Christmas Festival is the arguably the biggest National Hunt Festival in the country. It is staged from the 26th December to the 29th of December, hosting 7 Grade 1 Races.
Leopardstown Racecourse characteristics
The course itself is a wide, left handed galloping track with a circumference of 1m 6f. It is a relatively flat track with a slight uphill from the 2f pole to the finish line and a slight descent from the 10f pole to the 8f pole. The home turn to the winning post is only two and a half furlongs. The course was modelled on Sandown Racecourse in 1888.
The Hurdles Course is situated on the inner and is sharper in nature. It has seven flights in total. The Chase Course has ten fences
For course information and going reports on the day, Leopardstown Racecourse provide updates on their Twitter account.
Is there a pace bias at Leopardstown racecourse?
The hurdle and chase courses are different in nature due to their positioning on the track. They do, however, have similar traits in that racing close to the pace or from the front is generally an advantage.
This prominent or front running pace bias at Leopardstown is more or less aligned over all distances on both tracks. The chase course, for example sees 57.77% of winners (since 2009) come from a front running or prominent position. Front runners or prominent racers are also profitable to follow in handicap chases (8+ runners) with a level stakes profit of 6.00 and 22.12 respectively for front runners and prominent racers.
The hurdle course has a higher figure for front or prominent runners, with that group winning 62.09% of the time. This is likely due to the hurdle course being a sharper track.
Non-handicap hurdles (8+ runners) have the strongest pace bias at Leopardstown racecourse towards front or prominent runners with a 73% strike rate (101 front or prominent winners from 137 races).
Interestingly, handicap hurdles at Leopardstown are less biased towards the front or prominent group. Front or prominent runners have won 47.74% of handicap hurdles since 2009. Given there are generally twice as many runners that are held up in either mid division or in the rear, this is a significant statistic. So front runners (10 winners from 128 attempts - 7.81%) and prominent racers (43 winners from 602 attempts - 7.14%) have a better strike rate comparatively.
The flat course is a similar story as horses that are held up find it difficult to win. In fact, blindly backing front runners (8+ runner handicaps) since 2009 would have yielded quite a profit. This trend has been consistent over the 10 years so it may still be an angle for in play punters.
The front running bias is also more prominent on soft to heavy ground and it is also consistent over all trips. The strike rate of front runners on soft or heavy ground increases to 20.43% with 40.86% of front runners ending up in the places.
Is there a draw bias at Leopardstown racecourse?
There is little evidence of any major draw bias at Leopardstown. Handicaps run over 7f since 2009 for example, have seen low draws win 32.5% of races, middle draws win 33.7% and high drawn runners successful in 33.7% of races. So early pace is more important regardless of stall position.
Over 1 mile, the numbers suggest there is a slight draw bias at Leopardstown towards a low drawn runners but again it is nothing to get excited about. In fact the PRB (percentage of rivals beaten) score for low and high is the same at 0.51. Handicap races over 1m 2f can favour low or middle drawn runners over the higher stalls. Higher drawn runners in 8+ handicaps over 1m 2f have won 23.40% of the races since 2009 and have a lower A/E, IV and PRB score than low draws or middle draws.
Who are the top trainers at Leopardstown racecourse?
Leopardstown racecourse hosts racing over both codes so let's look at the top trainer stats at Leopardstown for each code separately:
Top flat racing trainers at Leopardstown
For trainers with more than 75 runners in the last 10 years, Aidan O’Brien has the best strike rate with 19.43% and a 43.83% place rate.
Next best of the flat trainers at Leopardstown is Dermot Weld with a 18.23% strike rate.
Neither, however, have been profitable to follow. Thomas Mullins is one of the few trainers that has been profitable to follow blindly with a win P&L of 40.25.
Top jumps racing trainers at Leopardstown
For trainers with more than 25 runners, Charles Byrnes has the best strike rate over the last 10 years with 14 winners from 58 runners (24.14% strike rate). Seven out of twenty-eight of those winners have been in handicaps giving him a 25% win ratio in handicaps over the past decade.
Willie Mullins has 128 winners from 628 runners which is a strike rate of 20.3%.
For trainers with more than 50 runners, Paul Nolan has been the most profitable to follow with a win P&L of 20.25 to level stakes.
Who are the top jockeys at Leopardstown racecourse?
Once again we'll examine the top jockeys at Leopardstown individually by code just as we did for the best trainers at Leopardstown:
Top flat racing jockeys at Leopardstown
Ryan Moore has an incredible 28.92% strike rate having won 24 of his 83 rides.
Chris Hayes has been the most profitable jockey to follow with a win P&L of 54.39. Interestingly, this figure increases to 138.76 if you exclude handicap races.
The most profitable jockey to follow in handicaps over the last 10 years has been Gary Halpin with a win P&L of 66.
Top jumps racing jockeys at Leopardstown
The now retired Ruby Walsh has had the best strike rate over the last 10 years with a standout 28.16% win ratio. Paul Townend lies 2nd at 15.93%.
Jack Kennedy has the best record over the last 2 years with a 22.81% strike rate. Kennedy has also been profitable to follow over that period with a win P&L of 10.16 to level stakes.
Sean Flanagan has been the most profitable jockey to follow over the last 10 years with a win P&L of 26.41.
What are the major races run at Leopardstown each year?
Leopardstown hosts two flat Group 1s annually:
Irish Champions Stakes
Distance: 1 mile & 2f
Race Conditions: 3 year old + fillies (5lb allowance for 3yo’s)
Prize Purse: 350K
Distance: 1 mile
Race Conditions: 3 year old + (3 lb allowance for fillies, 6lb allowance for 3yo’s)
Prize Purse: 1.24m
Over jumps Leopardstown has many more feature races
January - Irish Champion Hurdle (2 miles)
January - Arkle Novice Chase (2 miles 1f)
February - Irish Gold Cup (3 miles)
February - Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase (2 miles 5f)
February - Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle (2 miles 2f)
February - Spring Juvenile Hurdle (2 miles)
26th Dec - The Racing Post Novice Chase (2 miles & 1f)
27th Dec - The Paddys Reward Club Chase (2 miles & 1f)
27th Dec - The Future Champions Novice Hurdle (2 miles & 1f)
28th Dec - The Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle (2 miles & 1f)
28th Dec - The Savills Steeplechase
29th Dec - The Neville Hotels Novice Steeplechase
29th Dec - The Matheson Hurdle
*All figures correct as of 07/09/2020
|29 Dec 15:35||Hollow Games||Mr J J Codd||G Elliott||1/2|
|29 Dec 15:00||Millen To One||Jack Kennedy||F Flood||4/1|
|29 Dec 14:25||Sharjah||Mr P W Mullins||W Mullins||11/2|
|29 Dec 13:50||Monkfish||Paul Townend||W Mullins||1/2|
|29 Dec 13:15||Concertista||Paul Townend||W Mullins||4/5|
|29 Dec 12:40||Stattler||Paul Townend||W Mullins||13/8|
|29 Dec 12:05||Midnight Maestro||Tom Kelly||E Bolger||16/1|
|28 Dec 15:35||Ramillies||Mr P W Mullins||W Mullins||15/8|
|28 Dec 15:00||The Big Getaway||Paul Townend||W Mullins||4/5|
|28 Dec 14:25||A Plus Tard||Darragh O'Keeffe||H De Bromhead||15/2|
|Mrs J Harrington||11||119||9.2%|
|H De Bromhead||4||80||5.0%|