Limerick Racecourse is a dual-purpose racecourse situated 8km south of Limerick City in Greenmount. Limerick Racecourse was opened in October 2001 as a replacement to Greenpark Racecourse. Greenpark was the primary racecourse in Limerick for 130 years but was closed due to flooding and traffic congestion. Limerick Racecourse host a total of 18 fixtures annually. The four-day Christmas meeting which runs from St Stephens day is the highlight of the year.
The feature race of the Christmas meeting is the Grade 1 Faugheen Novice Chase. The race is run over 2m 3 and a half furlongs and has a prize pool of >€90k
Limerick Course Characteristics
The course is a right-handed, oval shaped track featuring a number of undulations. The circumference of the track is 1m 3f. The back straight features an uphill climb to the top of the hill that leads downhill to the 3-furlong straight. The final 2f on the home straight is ran at a slight incline. The back straight is where the majority of jumping is done with 5 fences on the chase course (outer) and 4 on the hurdle course (Inner). This stretch can be a real test of stamina. It can be a tricky track to the ride as the downhill can be inviting but horses that do too much in this stretch might struggle to get home. After the two flights on the home straight, there is a long run back around to the back straight.
For course information and going reports on the day, Limerick Racecourse provide updates on their Twitter account
IS THERE A PACE BIAS AT LIMERICK RACECOURSE?
There are more races over 7f and a mile at Limerick than the further distances. Front runners have been profitable to follow in all races over 7f since 2009 and are at a slight loss over 1 mile. Digging a little deeper into the pace stats at the course reveals something interesting. Front runners in non-handicap races over 7f and a mile perform noticeably better than in handicap races. Over 7f to a mile in non-handicap races, front runners have a 33% strike rate which is the best figure comparatively in Ireland, even better than Gowran Park (28.65%). Front runners here have returned a win P&L of 12.39. Conversely, 1 held up runner out of 147 attempts (34 races) has won. 8+ runner handicaps in comparison are a lot fairer (see below).
Front/prominent runners are also favoured over 2m and 2 and a half miles on the jumps course.
The majority of winners in 8+ runner handicaps over these distances come from those that race from the front/prominently. This will always suggest a bias as there is always less runners in this category (vs mid-div/held up runners). Front runners have in fact been profitable to follow in handicaps over these distances having returned a win P&L of 27.50. They tend to get racing coming down the hill and it can prove difficult to catch something out in front at this stage, also considering there are 2 jumps in less than 3f on the home straight. But stamina is needed to get through the final 3f on the straight and anything that has done too much in front can be liable to closers.
IS THERE A DRAW BIAS AT LIMERICK RACECOURSE?
The 7f and 1m trips have similar traits in that a high draw is slightly preferable in handicaps but there is little to no draw bias in non-handicaps. There is not a huge sample size to compare to but high draws have won more races in 7f and 1m handicaps since 2009. PRB scores also favour higher draws and have lower draws slightly worse off than mid draws. But pace is definitely a bigger factor here. A low draw has the potential to get squeezed out if not coupled with early pace. The pace from middle and higher draws tend to come across the field before the first turn to get to the front. But as you can see below (Heat Map for all 8+ runner races over 7f and 1m), front runners are favoured regardless of draw. Low drawn runners that are held up tend to find it very difficult to win
WHO ARE THE TOP TRAINERS AT LIMERICK RACECOURSE?
Top flat racing trainers at Limerick
Aidan O’Brien has an impressive win rate of 34.55% and +30.6 win P&L. Only Peter Fahey (+75.75) and JJ Feane (+54.50) are more profitable to follow since 2009. Both Feane and Fahey have the best win rate in handicaps with 28.57% and 26.67 respectively. Adrian McGuinness has a noticeably poor strike rate in handicaps at Limerick with 2 winners from 51 attempts (3.92%).
Top jumps racing trainers at Limerick
Naturally, Willie Mullins has the best win rate at Limerick (33.04%). Ted Walsh lies second with 25.93% whereas James Dullea has been the most profitable to follow since 2009. Tipperary man, Leslie Young, has the best win rate in handicaps with 26.32% (Win P&L of 24). Willie Mullins has to settle for second best (20.83%).
WHO ARE THE TOP JOCKEYS AT LIMERICK RACECOURSE?
Top flat jockeys at Limerick
Donnacha O’Brien had a stand-out win rate at 25.58%. Chris Hayes has a respectable 11.88% win rate at Limerick whereas he has the highest win P&L of +37. Declan McDonagh has the highest win P&L (53.0) in handicap races only with a win rate of 15.38%
Top jump jockeys at Limerick
Since 2009, Patrick Mullins has the best strike rate at Limerick with 35.29%, followed by Ruby Walsh in second 26.76%. However, take NHF races out of the equation and Ruby Walsh is top jockey at Limerick. Conditional jockey, Conor McNamara, has the best strike rate in handicaps (20%) and has a win P&L of 10.75. Ryan Treacy (18.75%), lies 2 better than Ruby Walsh, in second and has the highest win P&L of 45.
*Figures correct as of 15/09/2020
|24 Apr 17:15||Rodney Bay||Joe Doyle||J Murray||9/1|
|24 Apr 16:40||Bigz Belief||Dylan Browne McMonagle||M Smith||11/4|
|24 Apr 16:05||Soaring Sky||Shane Foley||Mrs J Harrington||10/1|
|24 Apr 15:30||Still Standing||Shane Foley||Mrs J Harrington||5/2|
|24 Apr 14:55||Solene Lilyette||Andrew Slattery||A Slattery||25/1|
|24 Apr 14:20||Dedillon||Andrew Slattery||A Slattery||8/1|
|24 Apr 13:45||Flagged||Colin Keane||G Lyons||9/4|
|24 Apr 13:15||Corps Des Pages||Billy Lee||P Twomey||6/4|
|19 Apr 17:25||Arctic Light||Mark Walsh||T Mullins||18/1|
|19 Apr 16:55||That's Lifebuoy||Philip Donovan||J Ryan||16/1|
|J J Slevin||3||22||13.6%|
|H De Bromhead||9||45||20.0%|