Clonmel Racecourse is a dual-purpose venue in Clonmel, County Tipperary.
One of three race tracks in the county, Clonmel is the only racecourse in Tipperary to race all year round with both Flat and National Hunt meetings taking place.
- Address – Clonmel Racecourse, Powerstown Park, Clonmel, County Tipperary, 052-6188508.
- Owner – Clonmel Races T/A Powerston Park Ltd.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – Flat and National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
With racing taking place here year-round, it’s best know a little more about both the Flat and National Hunt tracks at Clonmel.
Clonmel has a fairly standard right-handed oval. The track is around a mile-and-a-quarter in total length, featuring a downhill run to the home straight.
The turn into the side of the course is pretty sharp, though the bend to the straight is easy with the run-in being just a couple of furlongs, rising slightly to the line.
Flat Track Analysis
Flat jockeys have said that on quicker ground at Clonmel, being drawn low around 1¼ and 1½ miles is a big help, so keep that in mind.
Saving ground is crucial around here, accounting for the need for a good draw near the rails, at least if your horse can corner well enough so a nimble type is also useful.
When the ground is softer, front-runners have a harder time seeing races out up the slight rise to the finish. Even on softer ground, if front-runners are allowed to bowl along coming down the hill they can be hard to catch, but well-ridden hold-up horses still do well here on slower ground.
Once again right-handed and around 1¼ miles in length, the jumps track at Clonmel goes uphill for the first part before edging downhill towards the final bend and the two-furlong home straight.
Each circuit at Clonmel features seven fences around the chase course. There is a longer run from the third last to the penultimate fence, which is one of two in the home straight. The run-in after the last fence is approximately 150 yards.
On the hurdles course there are once again two flights on the home straight, one on the side of the course and three down the back.
Jumps Track Analysis
Some jumps jockeys have fed back that Clonmel has proved to be a difficult track to ride at times.
It tends to be tricky to come from significantly off the pace, unless of course a front-runner goes haring off too quick.
Races here tend to slow down going up the hill on the far side of the track, as jockeys are aware not to ask too much of them at that stage. In most ground conditions Clonmel tends to ride well for front-runners.
The penultimate fence is known to be quite difficult for riders. The field is running downhill towards it, leading to some hitting it too hard. Finding a confident jumper with a good cruising speed, especially from near the front end of field, can often prove to be fruitful here for punters.
Visiting Clonmel Racecourse
Clonmel does offer some wonderful views for racegoers. The track is known for its atmosphere, catering well for dedicated horse racing fans, social groups and even corporate events.
How to Get to Clonmel
Visitors to Clonmel Racecourse should be on the lookout for Powerstown Park.
Powerstown Park is located right off the Clonmel bypass. The track is only two miles or so from the centre of Clonmel.
Getting to the track is simple from town, even on foot. The track is less than a half-mile from the bus and train station, making this the easiest way to arrive and avoid driving.
Where to Stay
There are somewhat limited options for rooms and in and around Clonmel. If you want to stay further out and travel into the racecourse via the train and bus station, then Wexford is 60 miles to the east, Cork is around the same distance to the south west and Limerick is only 50 miles north west.
Major Events at Clonmel
While Clonmel is kept busy during the summer with Flat meetings, its biggest races are undoubtedly over the jumps.
|Clonmel Oil Chase||5yo+, Chase, Grade 2||2m4f||November|
|TA Morris Memorial Mares Chase||5yo+ Mares Only, Chase, Listed Race||2m4f||November|
|Novice Hurdle||4yo+, Novice Hurdle, Grade 3||3m||February|
The Clonmel Oil Chase is the biggest race at this track. The race has been used as a prep for the Cheltenham Festival among other things.
Past winners include Dorans Pride (four times), Beef Or Salmon, Edredon Bleu, Sizing Europe, Champagne Fever, Alpha Des Obeaux, Douvan and Fakir D’Oudairies.
About Clonmel Racecourse
Clonmel Racecourse enjoys a rich history, one the management team and the regulars at the track are rightfully proud of.
The racecourse has grown and improved over some 150 years since racing began there. These days, we regularly see 100+ horses declared for a single meeting at what is a very well supported track by owners, jockeys and trainers.
Back in 1998, a Supporters Club was formed at Clonmel with the main purpose being to promote racing here. The group goes about attracting extra sponsorship for races, increasing the prize money which in turn brings in better horses.
The Club also aims to improve the amenities at the track for all, encourages local interest from the community and gets more people involved in horse racing. It really is a feather in the cap of Clonmel Racecourse and should be replicated everywhere.
Though more improvements will no doubt come, the last major refurbishment came at Clonmel Racecourse during 2009 with feedback being largely positive from those visiting.