The opening of the new Curragh Racecourse will be a highlight of the 2019 Irish racing season, and a full slate of fixtures at that course features on the 2019 Irish Fixture List.
The Curragh will host 19 meetings in a much-changed configuration next year. The Curragh season will start on Saturday, Apr. 13, and the three-day Guineas Spring Festival will take place Friday, May 24 to Sunday, May 26 with a Group 1 race each day. The Irish Derby festival will be held over a Thursday to Saturday in late June, and the course’s four traditional August meetings will all move to Friday evenings.
The number of blank Sundays during the summer on the Irish calendar increases from three to five to accommodate staffing issues, and there will be five other blank Sundays during the season. The flat turf season will begin at Naas on Mar. 24 and conclude at the same course on Nov. 3. Total fixtures for 2019 are currently 361, with two summer fixtures at Dundalk pending approval. Approval for those would bring the numbers equal to 2018.
“The 2019 fixture list has been developed with the needs of both the customer and those working in the industry in mind,” said Horse Racing Ireland Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh. “2018 enhancements such as extra festival dates at Bellewstown, Killarney and Galway, and the newly inaugurated Dublin Racing Festival have been retained, while an exciting new fixture list for The Curragh will coincide with the opening of the redeveloped racecourse. Consideration has also been taken of the needs of the industry’s workforce with the introduction of extra blank Sundays and earlier finishing times where possible. 2019 will be an exciting year for Irish racing and the publication of the fixture list today certainly whets the appetite.”