Richard Gauthier Collection

Down Royal Racecourse

Along with its near neighbour Downpatrick, Down Royal first had a connection with racing through its association with the Down Royal Corporation of Horsebreeders in 1685; its Royal Charter was issued by James II. Racing has been held on the current course at Maze since the early 18th century, developed on land donated by Arthur Hill, 1st Marquess of Downshire. However, the meetings were billed as both Maze and Down Royal races over time. The principal races at the track are the Ulster Derby and Oaks. Currently the course hosts 11 fixtures annually.