- Total Number of Fixtures Increased by Eight to
- Extra Day Added to Killarney and Bellewstown
- Three Additional NH Fixtures during core Winter Months
- Five Blank Sundays for Flat Racing during Summer
- Shortened Season at the Curragh as per 2017
The 2018 Fixture List for Irish racing has
been released today (Monday September 11, 2017) by Horse Racing Ireland. The
total number of fixtures has been increased by eight to 363, the highest number
of fixtures ever to be run in Ireland.
The racecourses which have each been
allocated an additional fixture in 2018 are Ballinrobe, Bellewstown, Cork, Dundalk,
Galway, Killarney, Naas, Navan and Punchestown, while Tipperary will lose the
industry fixture which they staged in 2017. These new fixtures have been
allocated on a temporary basis and their appropriate venues, dates and position
in the calendar will be reviewed annually.
These additional fixtures are as follows:
- Bellewstown and Killarney will both stage an additional day as part of
their very popular July Festivals to make four and five-day meetings
- Galway will stage a three-day Festival over the October Bank Holiday
weekend, while Ballinrobe will run a Friday evening fixture in mid-April which they
previously staged in 2016.
- Three additional midweek winter National Hunt fixtures have been added
(Naas in December, Punchestown in January and Fairyhouse in February), which
will be targeted at medium to lower tier horses to provide more jumps
opportunities below the top level during the core winter months.
- Additional Flat fixtures have been included in the Autumn programme at
Cork, Navan and Dundalk which is the time when most required by the horse
features of the 2018 fixture list are:
- There will be
five Sundays without Flat racing during the summer months so as to ease the
workload for stable staff during the busiest months of the year.
- The Sunday
before Christmas (December 23rd) has been left blank at the request
of the Irish Stable Staff Association.
- The number of mixed
meetings has been reduced from 28 to 19, of which only three will now be staged
outside Festival meetings, to aid with the staffing of meetings and to reduce
costs for trainers/jockeys.
- The Curragh
will stage 18 fixtures, once again using temporary facilities, during a
truncated season from May 11th to September 16th.
will stage a new two-day National Hunt Festival on the weekend of February 3rd
and 4th featuring the Irish Champion Hurdle and the Irish Gold Cup.
- Longines Irish Champions Weekend will
be run at Leopardstown on Saturday 15th September and the
Curragh on Sunday 16th September.
Overall, in terms of the overall
Flat/National Hunt (NH) split, it is estimated that Flat races will increase by
32 (to 1135) while NH races will increase by 22 (to 1434). This reflects the
improvement in Flat average field sizes which were up by 0.63 runners per race
for the first eight months of 2017 compared to the same period last year (from
10.48 to 11.11), while NH field sizes were up by 0.45 runners per race from
11.24 to 11.69.
Announcing the 2018 Fixture List, Brian
Kavanagh, Chief Executive of HRI, said:
Fixture List will feature the highest number of race meetings staged in Ireland
to date, with 363 fixtures being scheduled, 325 on turf (up seven) and 38 on
the All Weather (up one). In recognition of the additional workload that this
will place on those working in the industry, HRI has increased to five the
number of Sundays with no Flat racing during the summer months to give stable
staff some welcome breaks. HRI has also accommodated other requests from the
Irish Stable Staff Association to reduce the number of mixed meetings where
possible, especially outside the Festival meetings, and to leave the Sunday
before Christmas (23rd December) as a blank day.
great to be able to develop the Festivals at Bellewstown and Killarney and
create a new one at Galway over the October Bank Holiday weekend. This is a result of the success of their
existing Festivals and a great credit to the racecourses in question.
Board has again agreed that the Curragh should continue to stage a shortened
season during 2018 featuring all its major Classic racedays and the second leg
of Longines Irish Champions Weekend. The continued co-operation of Naas and
Navan in accommodating early and late season Curragh fixtures should be
added three midweek industry days for National Hunt racing at Naas, Punchestown
and Fairyhouse, one each in the months of December, January and February. This
will allow the provision of further opportunities for medium to lower tier
horses which will hopefully encourage more jumps horses to be kept in training
during this core Winter period of the National Hunt season.”
The dates of the major racing Festivals
for 2018 will be:
|Leopardstown Festival Weekend||3rd – 4th February|
|Cork Easter ||31st March – 2nd April|
|Fairyhouse Easter ||1th – 3rd April|
National Hunt ||24th
– 28th April|
– 15th May|
– 27th May|
Royal Ulster Derby||22nd
– 23rd June|
June – 1st July|
– 7th July (now 4 days)|
– 19th July (now 5 days) |
– 22nd July|
July – 5th August|
– 19th August|
– 25th August|
– 15th September|
Irish Champions Weekend||15th
– 16th September|
– 29th October (now 3 days)|
– 3rd November|
November Winter Racing ||17th
– 18th November|
Premier Jump Racing Weekend||1st
– 2nd December|
– 29th December|
– 29th December|
CLICK HERE FOR FULL 2018 FIXTURE LIST