Gowran Park Racecourse History

Racing first took place in the Gowran Park area of Kilkenny at Jenkinstown and Danesfort in the 19th century. However, the racecourse at Gowran Park is one of the most recent Irish courses, first opening its gates on Tuesday 16th June 1914. The course offers both Flat and National Hunt racing, with its most prestigious race, the Thyestes Chase, often used as a preparatory race for Cheltenham. Both the mighty Arkle and Flyingbolt won the Chase prior to their Cheltenham successes. The course now boasts modern facilities which were completed in 2003.

Currently the course hosts 16 fixtures annually.

 

Although Gowran Park remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Carlow closed its gates for the final time in 1900.
The County of Carlow is the second smallest county in Ireland, and its county town is Carlow which is situated 51 miles from Dublin. Records indicate that a six day race meeting first took place from Monday 14th to Saturday 19th May 1770 when the opening two mile Stakes was won by Mr Kirwan’s Smirking Nan. At a famous meeting, extending from Monday 29th June to Saturday 4th July 1812, the 100 Guineas Gold Cup, donated by the Carlow Stewards, and in particular Nicholas Vigors, was contested for the first time over Carlow’s New course.  The course benefitted significantly from the expansion of the railway, and at the races on Tuesday 4th August 1846 the Stewards welcomed a 50 sovereign sponsorship from the Dublin and Carlow Railway Company, with crowds swelled by the arrival of trains for the first time to the town. Meetings lapsed for a number of years, but due to the efforts of Captain D W Beresford the races were revived on Saturday 14th September 1861. The final meeting took place on Tuesday 2nd October 1900 when the Carlow County Plate over a mile went to Mr W P Cullen’s Clan Graham.
I am grateful to Google Maps (© Googlemap) for permission to use the map shown below.

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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