2020 Irish horse racing fixture list announced

370 fixtures announced for Irish racing in 2020

Wednesday, September 04, 2019
2020 Fixtures

HRI announce 370 Irish racing fixtures for 2020 Photo: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Seven additional fixtures have been allocated for the Irish racing calendar in 2020, a move that will see the total number of fixtures increase to a total of 370.

The Fixture List for 2020 was approved by the Board of Horse Racing Ireland at their meeting yesterday.

The seven additional fixtures have been allocated to Cork (July 24), The Curragh (September 26), Kilbeggan (July 10), Listowel (May 30), Naas (August 23), Sligo (October 23) and Tramore (July 8).

To help ease pressure on stable staff and trainers, there will also be six blank Sundays in 2020, matching the total for this year.

Next year’s Fixture List also sees changes to the Curragh’s Derby festival, reverting to the traditional Friday-to-Sunday schedule – and the Irish Grand National meeting, which changes for the first time to a  Saturday-to-Monday schedule. 

Listowel’s seven day Harvest Festival 2020 will begin later in the month of September (Sunday 20) to avoid a clash with the National Ploughing Championships.

Announcing the 2020 Fixture List, Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of HRI, said:

“There will be 370 racemeetings in the Fixture List next year, which  reflects the most recent industry figures which showed the number of horses in training continuing to rise, and  strong average field sizes. 

“Our priority continues to be facilitating opportunities for the horse population in Ireland which is essential to growing the industry here.  With increasing numbers of horses in training, which in turn provides jobs all over the country, it is appropriate to provide increased opportunities.

“We had very strong applications from racecourses seeking extra fixtures and I congratulate those tracks which have been successful. The Curragh, Naas and Cork have undergone much development work in recent times while Kilbeggan, Sligo, Tramore and Listowel are immensely popular tracks in different parts of the country.”

Dundalk’s early season schedule will cease on April 22 to facilitate their timetable for the replacement of the current surface with a view to the work being completed in early June, a month ahead of their first summer fixture on Sunday, July 12, with their traditional August 15 date also reinstated next year.

Brian Kavanagh said: 

“The HRI Board has agreed that there should be at least a month between the completion of the track replacement works and the first summer fixture in Dundalk to ensure that the surface is properly bedded down with appropriate trials taking place prior to racing recommencing on the new polytrack surface.”

The Curragh fixture list for 2020 sees a number of changes to its 2019 schedule. These include reverting to its traditional earlier start date for the year, Sunday, March 29. There will also be a reduction in the number of the Curragh’s Friday fixtures (down from seven to three), with one Wednesday and one Saturday evening being trialled. Additionally, the Derby Festival will revert to its traditional Friday evening/Saturday/Sunday schedule, with the Irish Derby on the Saturday. 

Brian Kavanagh said: 

“We have moved two of the Curragh’s Friday evening fixtures to a Wednesday and a Saturday on a trial basis. The Curragh wishes to evaluate what day will work best for evening meetings and these tweaks should allow them best assess this.”  

The Fixture List for 2020 matches the 2019 list with six blank Sundays, though the dates will differ next year, namely: April 26, June 21, July 26, August 30, September 6 and December 13.  In addition to the six completely blank Sundays, there are also five other Sundays during the Flat Turf season on which there is no Flat racing (two in June and one each in August, September and October) while there are nine Sundays with no National Hunt racing in the April to September period.

The opening and closing race meetings of the Flat turf season will continue to be run at Naas on Sunday March 22 and Sunday November 1 respectively.

The dates of the major racing Festivals for 2020 will be:

Dublin Racing Festival 1st – 2nd February
Cork Easter 11th – 13th April
Fairyhouse Easter 11th – 13th April
Punchestown National Hunt  28th April – 2nd May
Killarney Spring 10th – 12th May
Curragh Guineas 23rd – 24th May
Down Royal Ulster Derby 19th – 20th June
Curragh Derby 26th – 28th June  (now Friday to Sunday)
Bellewstown July 1st – 4th July
Killarney July 13th – 17th July
Curragh Oaks 18th – 19th July
Galway 27th July – 2nd August
Tramore August 13th – 16th August
Killarney August 19th – 22nd August
Longines Irish Champions Weekend 12th – 13th September
Listowel 20th – 26th September
Down Royal NI Festival of Racing 30th – 31st October
Punchestown November Winter Racing 14th – 15th November
Fairyhouse Premier Jump Racing Weekend 28th – 29th November
Leopardstown Christmas 26th – 29th December
Limerick Christmas 26th – 29th December




There will be 370 racemeetings in the Fixture List next year, which  reflects the most recent industry figures which showed the number of horses in training continuing to rise, and  strong average field sizes.