Navan Racecourse is a popular Irish track, sitting around 50km away from Dublin.
The track opened in 1920 and is filled with history, these days hosting around 17 fixtures each year over both Flat and National Hunt codes.
Jumps racing is particularly prominent at this track, with a number of good Grade 2 races being staged here.
- Address – Navan Racecourse, Proudstown, Navan, Ireland.
- Owner – Navan Races Limited.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – Flat and National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Navan’s jumps track is used more than the Flat track, though both are popular with horsemen. Here’s how they behave:
The Flat course at Navan is left-handed, around 1½ miles around, oval-shaped and featuring a stiff run towards the line of around three and a half furlongs from the home turn.
The straight course is just under six furlongs in length and joins the main track at the entrance to the stiff home straight.
Flat Track Analysis
Flat jockeys report Navan to be a very fair track but one that contains a particularly stiff finish. Horses are either ridden for a late finish, or have to have confirmed stamina up to and beyond the advertised race distance.
Jockeys tend not to worry about the draw and the stats mainly back up their theory that you can win from just about anywhere. Some have even called Navan the fairest track in Ireland.
The jumps course at Navan again runs left-handed, is more or less rectangular in shape and is 1½ miles around. Mostly galloping in nature, it suits the long-striding type for the most part so don’t be too hung up on those with a brilliant turn of foot.
The uphill finish is harsh for some horses, the rise coming from the bend and stretching 3½ furlongs all the way to the winning line.
While the track is largely fair and even, it can become very testing when the rain comes, further accentuating the need to see out a trip. Look out for horses who have won or been placed at the advertised distance or further.
The chase course runs around the outside of the hurdles track, featuring nine fences on each circuit with three on the uphill run from the bend to the line.
Jumps Track Analysis
There has been some rather gushing feedback from Irish jump jockeys about Navan in the past.
Jockeys love a fair track. Even when hard work is needed, as it often is at Navan, it’s better than having hard luck stories to tell and there are rarely any around here.
Navan is described by riders as roomy with good fences and a stiff finish. Clever jocks slow things down around the back end of the course, keeping plenty in reserve for what is a long way home and a tough finish from the fourth-last.
The winter months often bring real soft/heavy jumping ground, so a sound stayer and a good jumper is needed as this can be an energy-sapping place.
Visiting Navan Racecourse
There are excellent facilities at Navan, with great views as we’ll explain below.
How to Get to Navan
By car, Navan is around 56km away from Dublin to the north-west. Using the N3, head towards Navan and the racecourse is around 5km from the town centre via the R162, Proudstown Road.
Bus services leave Busaras, Dublin Central Bus Station, each hour from 7.30am on weekdays and 9am on Sundays all the way to Navan, stopping in the town centre. From there, taxies are readily available to go the other 5km to the track.
The nearest train station to the track is in Drogheda. The station is 24km away from Navan to the east, with a bus service being provided from there to Navan town centre with taxies again available to take racegoers the rest of the way.
If you’re flying in, Dublin Airport is the best and nearest option. From the airport, a regular Aircoach service runs to the centre of Navan. Check out Dublin Airport’s website for more information on times of the bus service.
Where to Stay
Although Dublin isn’t a million miles away, it’s easier in this case to stay in or near Navan.
Recommended hotels by the racecourse include those in Navan, Slane, Kells, Trim, Gormanstown and Dunboyne.
Navan’s Best Races
Much like other Irish dual-purpose tracks, especially Naas, Navan leans more to jumps than to the Flat when it comes to its bigger race days. Though subject to change, Navan’s biggest current races are:
|Boyne Hurdle||5yo+, Hurdle, Grade 2||NH||2m5f||February|
|Ten Up Novice Chase||5yo+, Novice Chase, Grade 2||NH||3m||February|
|Flyingbolt Novice Chase||5yo+, Novice Chase, Grade 3||NH||2m1f||February|
|Webster Cup Chase||5yo+, Chase, Grade 2||NH||2m4f||March|
|Ballysax Stakes||3yo Only, Group 3||Flat||1m2f||April|
|Vintage Crop Stakes||4yo+, Group 3||Flat||1m6f||May|
|Lismullen Hurdle||4yo+, Hurdle, Grade 2||NH||2m4f||November|
|Fortria Chase||5yo+, Chase, Grade 2||NH||2m||November|
|For Auction Novice Hurdle||4yo+, Novice Hurdle, Grade 3||NH||2m||November|
|Monksfield Novice Hurdle||4yo+, Novice Hurdle, Grade 2||NH||2m4f||November|
|Tara Hurdle||4yo+, Handicap Hurdle||NH||2m4f||December|
|Navan Novice Hurdle||4yo+, Novice Hurdle, Grade 1||NH||2m4f||December|
Though only two Flat races make this list, they are crucial regarding future events. The Ballysax Stakes is a key Classic trial, providing Derby contenders for both Epsom and the Curragh. The Vintage Crop Stakes is the best Irish trial for the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot each June.
About Navan Racecourse
Navan boasts some excellent amenities, both for public use and available to book for private events. They include the Troytown Public Bar, the Bective Restaurant, three private suites which can be requested and a children’s area and coffee shop.
In terms of the track and your confidence in betting on races, very few jockeys or trainers have ever had a bad word to say about it. It is thought of in fact as Ireland’s fairest race track.
Generally speaking, the best horse wins at Navan so there are no quirks to worry about, and very few excuses to find so you can get with some confidence.
If you are going to bet at Navan then you won’t be missing any of the action either. Navan is the only racecourse in Ireland at which you can see the entire track clearly.
Every runner can be see from the stands for the entire duration of each race, something that has stood for a long time as Navan’s no.1 selling point among visitors.