One of three racecourse venues in County Tipperary is Tipperary Racecourse, a dual-purpose location in Limerick Junction, around two miles from Tipperary town.
Racing has been taking place in the area since 1848 at Barronstown, with the current location at Limerick Junction first used in 1916. The name of this popular track remained Limerick Junction until 1986, when it was changed to ‘Tipperary Racecourse’.
These days, the track hosts only around 11 fixtures annually across both codes, racing only between April and October.
- Address – Tipperary Racecourse, Limerick Junction, Tipperary, Ireland.
- Owner – Horse Racing Ireland.
- TV Station – Racing TV.
- Type – Flat and National Hunt.
- Surface – Turf.
Tipperary is arguably underused, but in any event it’s good for punters to know the intricacies of the Flat and National Hunt courses.
The flat track at Tipperary is left-handed and flat, being only around 1¼ miles around. The straight five-furlong sprint track joins the main course at the entrance to the straight which is only 2½ furlongs.
Given its layout, the general consensus is that speed is king around here, especially when the ground is good or quicker.
Flat Track Analysis
Jockeys too back up the fact that Tipperary is about speed, at least most of the time anyway.
Making up ground remains possible if your horse is good enough, though riders tend to say that this is difficult when the ground is soft which is not the way punters may think it goes.
One thing to watch out for according to jockeys is the draw over 7½ furlongs, as the bend does come up very soon after the runners jump. This means being drawn low, much like over at Chester over short distances, can be a big advantage.
The sprint track here is known to be particularly fast with no massive draw bias on good ground, though high numbers being favoured on softer ground. Generally, a proper speedster or “minute horse” will be seen to best effect here.
As before, the jumps track is left-handed and flat in nature, this time being on the inside and so being shorter at around 9 furlongs.
In this case, the track is seen as being galloping in nature though it is tight enough for a jumps course, the chase course in particular as it is set on the inner of the hurdles track. The run-in after the final hurdle or fence is around one furlong.
Each circuit has five hurdles; one on the side of the track, two down the back and two in the straight. The chasers are offered six fences per circuit; one on the side, three down then back and two in the home straight.
Jumps Track Analysis
National Hunt riders tend to say that the course here is quick, which backs up what everyone thinks about the Flat track but doesn’t back up what regular punters have commented about the jumps course.
The chase course in particular is thought of as quick for jockeys, though the fences aren’t too harsh and so a good jockey and a decent jumper will get through their races fine.
Generally speaking, jockeys tend to want to be at the front if they can help it, but as a punter you shouldn’t force this and nor should a jockey. Look only for those who tend to naturally race near the front comfortably.
One thing to keep in mind is that, despite everything already mentioned, the jumps track when it rains can become very testing and so stamina over a distance is still required.
Visiting Tipperary Racecourse
Those looking to get to Tipperary Racecourse can get tickets online in advance, or grab a general admission ticket on the day at the gate.
The General Enclosure offers plenty in the way of amenities for racegoers, while there are restaurant options as well.
How to Get to Tipperary
Getting to Tipperary Racecourse by road is very easy. The track is on the main Limerick to Waterford road, the N24, and is just two miles from the centre of Tipperary Town. Parking is free once you’re there.
Tipperary Racecourse is 18 miles from Cashel, 19 miles from Limerick, 51 from Kilkenny, 54 from Cork, 114 from Dublin which also offers the best airport option, and 215 miles from Belfast.
One unique point about Tipperary Racecourse is that it is the only one in Ireland which is adjacent to a train station. Racegoers can get off at Limerick Junction and walk only five minutes to the racecourse entrance.
Where to Stay
There’s no real need to stay outside of the Tipperary area when visiting the track, unless you want to sample Dublin and commute by train.
There are golf hotel, spa and leisure resort options close by, as well as other hotel rooms, B&B’s and rental properties.
Major Events at Tipperary
It’s a relatively short season at Tipperary, at least for a dual-purpose track, with these races being the best on offer each calendar year:
|Fairy Bridge Stakes||3yo+, Fillies & Mares, Group 3||7½f||August|
|Joe Mac Novice Hurdle||4yo+, Novice Hurdle, Grade 3||2m||October|
|Concorde Stakes||3yo+, Group 3||7½f||October|
|Istabraq Hurdle||4yo+, Hurdle, Grade 2||2m||October|
|Like A Butterfly Novice Chase||4yo+, Novice Chase, Grade 3||2m4f||October|
About Tipperary Racecourse
Tipperary is known for it’s short April-October racing season, mixing up some high-class National Hunt and Flat racing.
The track is a busy one during the summer months, but the vast majority of its top-quality racing comes at its meeting on the first Sunday each October.
Known as Super Sunday, the meeting is the only one that stages Graded jumps races, as listed above, and a Group race on the Flat all on the same card. While the summer remains popular, Super Sunday brings in the biggest crowd of the year at Tipperary.
The track is parked right next to Limerick Junction train station which makes things even easier for racing crowds, while some good maidens may be seen there on the Flat given that Aidan O’Brien’s powerful hard is only around half an hour away.