Navan Racecourse Guide

Just north of Navan, in Proudstown, is where Navan Racecourse has stood since 1920. Although the course hosts both Flat and National Hunt racing, it is jump racing which the course is better known for and which sees a bigger share of the high quality races.

There are 18 days of racing scheduled each year at the course which is sometimes referred to as Proudstown Park. They are well spread out through the calendar to ensure keen Navan racegoers never have to wait too long before the next meeting.

Map

Swap Start/End

The Course

Navan’s left-handed oval circuit is around a mile and a half in length. It’s a good galloping track with two long straights and easy to manage turns. Many would consider it to be one of the fairest courses in the country too. Sticking out from the oval is an extension that creates a six furlong straight track for flat races. Sprint races at Navan will see some rather slow times however due to the very stiff three and a half furlong climb to the line. This is worth considering and can certainly catch some horses out.

It’s a finish which can become incredible tough during the National Hunt racing in winter as conditions are known to get very testing at Navan. It is important jockeys try and give their horses a breather before the uphill stretch as it’s a long battle to the line. As well as stamina, there is an emphasis on jumping ability as the nine fences aren’t the easiest, particularly the first down the back straight and the second last. The wide track gives runners plenty of room to take the jumps though, so big fields can easily be accommodated.

Major Races

Despite being downgraded from Grade 1 to Grade 2 in 2014, the Navan Novice Hurdle still remains as one of the major National Hunt races at the County Meath course. Due to take place in mid-December, it is run over a distance of two miles and sees winners who are often fancied at the Cheltenham Festival. Among Navan’s several other Grade 2 contests is the Fortria Chase, another two mile event which has twice been won by Moscow Flyer and three times by Big Zeb.

On the Flat course, the Vintage Crop Stakes usually creates a fair amount of hype every May. Named after the two-time Irish St. Leger winner, it’s a one and thee quarter mile test that was introduced recently, in 2003, and which has been won by the likes of Yeats, and Fame and Glory. It’s certainly no stranger to top quality horses, something which should only continue now that the race has been awarded Group 3 status.

Visiting

Most racedays at Navan take place at the weekend but there are a few exceptions to this each year. Navan is pretty laidback, like most of Ireland’s courses and is well worth a visit.

  • Dress Code: No strict dress code applies at Navan but smart casual wear is recommend. Above all else though it’s advised spectators dress for the weather and come in suitable footwear.
  • Ticket Prices: There is a standard rate for admission at Navan and that is €15 for adults, €10 for students and free for the under 18s. Adult tickets can be pre-booked online but you will pay the same price as on the day. For groups of 10 and more there is the option of the Punters Pack which includes a racecard, €5 bet and €10 lunch voucher on top of admission for €28 per person – excellent value. For racegoers looking for a fine dining experience along with the racing, entry with a three course meal in the Bective Restaurant with its panoramic views costs between €62 and €65.
  • Membership: Adult annual membership can be purchased for €150 while students/seniors can become members at a reduced rate of €115. By being a member you will be able to watch all of Navan’s meetings from the exclusive Arkle Bar and have the chance to go to 15 reciprocal fixtures that take place during the year. Additional benefits include: free parking in the members car park, two complimentary day member passes, restaurant discounts and a trip to visit a trainer’s yard.
  • Getting There: Given Navan’s size, driving to the racecourse is the easiest way of getting there. The nearest train station is Drogheda, some 24km away and from here you’ll need to take a taxi or catch the 190 bus service which takes around an hour to get to Navan. Bus Eireann services run from Dublin to Navan every hour and like the bus from Drogheda, it will drop you off around 3km of the course.
  • Parking: Plenty of free parking is available and the sooner you arrive the closer you’ll be to the entrance.