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Where is Downpatrick Racecourse?
Downpatrick Racecourse is off the A25 2km south-west of Downpatrick in County Down. It is 35km south of Belfast.
There are no train services in the local area but Downpatrick Bus Station is a 10-minute walk away.
What is Downpatrick Racecourse Famous For?
Downpatrick was the first Irish town to stage a race meeting in 1685 with racing commencing at the current venue in the early 19th century.
Flat fixtures were discontinued in 2009 with Downpatrick now hosting 10 National Hunt meetings from March to October. Boasting stunning views, it is very popular with the locals and known for its friendly atmosphere.
Down Cathedral in the town is believed to be the burial site of Saint Patrick.
Track Specifics at Downpatrick Racecourse
Downpatrick presents a unique test. It is a very undulating narrow right-handed 11-furlong (2200m) circuit with horses on the turn all the way bar a short uphill home straight which leads to a steep descent into the first bend.
Long-striding gallopers are at a serious disadvantage with hold-up horses also tending to struggle. Fences are on the easy side, but Downpatrick's quirky nature means it has its fair share of course specialists.
Biggest Meetings at Downpatrick Racecourse
Ulster National Raceday is the season opener and highlight in late March with the eponymous feature the track's most valuable race. Pineau de Re won the three-and-a-half-mile (5600m) contest in 2013 a year before taking the Grand National at Aintree.
There is also a popular two-day Summer Festival in mid-June with Ladies Day the last Monday of August.
Visit the official Downpatrick Racecourse website for more information including upcoming race days, on-course features and more!