The Curragh Gallops | The Curragh Racecourse
The Curragh Gallops

The Curragh Gallops

All-weather gallops

The Curragh grass gallops are the foundation of the training grounds and are rotated throughout the year in order to provide fresh ground throughout the season. Walshe’s Hill opens each March and has a variety of canters, grass, trial and peat gallops. They range from 8-12 furlongs and are where horses like Sea the Stars and Harzand did their main work. The Flat Rath grass gallops open each May and run for a mile in front of the racecourse stands. The Bush gallop provides a stiff test for national hunt horses and is in high demand during the winter months.

Maddenstown and the Little Curragh provide the boundaries on either side of the Curragh. Both of these facilities are steeped in history and have been home to countless Group 1 winners over the years. The facilities on offer in Maddenstown and the Little Curragh allows trainers to do their daily work on these gallops with the option of using the racecourse side when they wish to change a horse’s routine.


Generations of winners have been nurtured in the quiet setting of Maddenstown. Classic winners such as Chelsea Rose and Saoire were trained in Maddenstown. Recent speedsters such as Dandy Man, Arctic and Hit The Bid were all trained here. Maddenstown has its own 7-furlong grass gallop as well and a 7-furlong wood chip gallop. These have now been complemented by a 10-furlong sand and fibre gallop.

Little Curragh

The Little Curragh was home to one of the best racehorses we have ever seen in Sea the Stars and more recently the consistent Group 1 performer Romanised. The little Curragh offers a 7-furlong round woodchip gallop with a shoot as well as a 5 ½-furlong sand and fibre straight gallop.

Year in, year out the Curragh produces a number of top-class national hunt performers. The roll of honour is endless but includes champions such as Hardy Eustace, Our Conor, Like a Butterfly, Papillion, Comanche Court, Numbersixvalverde and most recently Cheltenham festival winner City Island. Top national hunt trainers from all over the country also visit the facility to school every Tuesday and Friday.

Schooling Hurdles

Opened Tuesdays and Fridays

Schooling Fences

Opened Tuesdays and Fridays

Schooling Strip

Opened Monday to Saturday

The Curragh Training Grounds provide a number of hurdles options during the season. There is a mixture of regular and easy fix hurdles while the new padded hurdles are also available. The round circuit with 8 hurdles provides a racetrack experience and is extremely popular as it creates a racecourse experience.

A strip of 3 fences are available on grass. Additional Grand National style fences are dressed by Aintree twice a year to school over before the Beecher Chase and Grand National to provide experience for Irish horses in preparation for a trip to Liverpool.

The all-weather schooling strip is open Monday to Saturday all year. It provides a safe option during the summer months when the ground may be too quick to school on grass.




The Old Vic

The Free Eagle

The Round Sand

9 Furlong Woodchip

9 Furlong Sand and Fibre

9 Furlong Sand and Fibre Surface

The Old Vic, originally commissioned by his Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and named after his 1989 Irish Derby winner, runs in front of the racecourse stands and climbs steadily for a mile and a furlong. It is the Curraghs flagship gallop for fast work and is used in the preparation for the big race day.  

This new 9-furlong sand and fibre gallop made possible due to the generous support of Eva Maria Bucher-Haefner is a huge addition to the training grounds. The uphill gallop that runs alongside the Old Vic is named after Moyglare Studs Group 1 winner Free Eagle who himself used the Curragh facilities every day of his racing career. This gallop has all the attributes of the Old Vic but provides an alternative option for trainers to exercise a horse on a slower sand and fibre surface instead of woodchip.


The Round Sand is a 9 Furlong round circuit used for cantering flat and national hunt horses. The Round Sand provides the strongest test of the all-weather gallops available on the Curragh and therefore is widely used for fast work by national hunt and point to point trainers. This gallop has been used in the preparation of countless Cheltenham festival winners.