Tipperary Racecourse History

The earliest record of racing in the town of Tipperary was a four day meeting, spread over seven days, from Thursday 11th to Wednesday 17th October 1787. The meeting opened with a 50 Guineas Plate over a mile and a half which was won by Mr D B Daly’s Little Moll, while the next day an all-age Handicap was staged in which the 3 year olds were allocated ‘a feather’ compared to 7st 3lb for 4 year olds, and up to 8st 12lb for aged horses. The event was won by Mr Hewson’s 6 year old Lady Betty, beating the 5 year old Ranunculus. Meetings continued to be advertised as Tipperary until 27th March 1848 when racing transferred to the Barronstown course where it remained for over half a century. The Tipperary meeting was always held in high regard, never more so than during the War years. In April 1917 the War Cabinet announced that all racing in the United Kingdom would be prohibited on economic grounds, but after much wrangling a deal was struck whereby a small number of venues could continue to stage racing; the two chosen courses being the Curragh and Tipperary. The September 1916 meeting was billed as ‘Limerick Junction’ and racing continued to be advertised as such until switching back to its current name. By May 1986 the course, a mile and 2 furlongs in length, was renamed Tipperary despite it being 2 miles from the town centre, and today the course offers both Flat and National Hunt racing. There is also now a 5 furlong sprint course which joins the main course at the bend of the straight. Its most important Flat race is the grade 3 Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds first run in 2003, while the most important National Hunt race is the grade 2 Istabraq Hurdle over 2 miles.
Currently the course hosts 10 fixtures annually.

Although Tipperary remains a thriving racecourse, nearby Cashel closed its gates for the final time in 1917.
The County Tipperary town of Cashel first held a five day meeting in October 1751. Sir Edward O’Brien was a strong supporter of the course and captured the feature race on Thursday 17th October 1751 with his bay horse Ranger. In 1777, to further promote their races, Cashel promised there would be assemblies every night for the Ladies and Gentlemen during the meeting, with no more than a guinea charged for a bed during the week. Races continued on a very regular basis, with the course attracting some prominent sponsors. On Monday 4th August 1794 Viscount Landaff sponsored the principal Plate which was won by Colonel Hyde’s Lady Ann. The Irish Racing Calendar, which up to 1797 had diligently published results from most large meetings, failed to include Cashel results in its publication. In the early 1840s the track received a boost when the Dublin to Cashel railway opened, making the course more accessible to a wider group of punters. Racing lapsed for a brief period in the 19th century, but returned in 1853, although profits were not always used for the benefit of the course. Necessary improvements were not carried out and when an Irish Racecourse inspection committee was formed in the early 20th century, Cashel was one of the courses requiring improvement.  The final meeting took place on Thursday 19th April 1917.
I am grateful to Google Maps (© Googlemap) for permission to use the map shown below.

Thursday 11th October 1787
Tipperary Ladies Plate (£50) for 3 year olds over 1 ½ miles

1. Little Moll (Evens fav), bay filly owned by Mr Daly
2. Hippomenes (2/1), chestnut horse owned by Mr Kirwan
3. Catherine (3/1), bay mare owned by Mr Deuis
4. Unnamed (4/1) chestnut gelding owned by Mr Lambert
Friday 12th October 1787
Tipperary Noblemen & Gentlemen’s Subscription Purse (£50) over 4 miles

1. Lady Betty (2/1) bay mare owned by Mr Hewson
2. Ranunculus (1/2 fav) chestnut horse owned by Mr Denis
3. Peter The Fool (5/1) bay gelding owned by Mr Strang
4. Peg Plunket (5/1) grey mare owned by Captain Harrison
5. Emperor (10/1) chestnut horse owned by Mr Fallon
Saturday 13th October 1787
Tipperary Town Plate (£50) over 4 miles

1. Olinapia (6/1) bay mare owned by Colonel Eyre
2. Lady Betty (3/1) bay mare owned by Mr Hays
3. Waterman (3/1) bay gelding owned by Mr Uniack
4. Eagle (7/4 fav) bay gelding owned by Mr Shadwell
5. Black and all Black (10/1) bay gelding owned by Mr Hewson
6. Brown Pegg (10/1) bay mare owned by Mr Strang

Fairy Bridge Stakes winners since its inception in 2003
2003 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Plume Rouge trained by Kevin Prendergast and ridden by Declan McDonogh
2004 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Queen of Palms trained by Kevin Prendergast and ridden by Pat Shanahan
2005 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Fairy of the Night trained by John Oxx and ridden by Fran Berry
2006 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Modeeroch trained by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning
2007 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Anna's Rock trained by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning
2008 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Psalm trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Johnny Murtagh
2009 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Choose Me trained by Kevin Prendergast and ridden by Declan McDonogh
2010 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Fourpenny Lane trained by Joanna Morgan and ridden by Rory Cleary
2011 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Alanza trained by John Oxx and ridden by Johnny Murtagh
2012 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Lady Wingshot trained by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning
2013 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Fiesolana trained by Willie McCreery and ridden by Billy Lee
2014 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Tested trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Pat Smullen
2015 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Tested trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Pat Smullen
2016 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Tanaza trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Pat Smullen
2017 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by Realtra trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Colin Keane
2018 The Fairy Bridge Stakes over 7f 100yds was won by One Master trained by William Haggas and ridden by Colm O'Donoghue

Istabraq Hurdle (previously the John James McManus Memorial Hurdle and later the Tipperary Hurdle) winners since its inception in 1997
1997 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Istabraq trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Charlie Swan
1998 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Istabraq trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Charlie Swan
1999 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Istabraq trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Charlie Swan
2000 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Knife Edge trained by Michael O'Brien and ridden by Tom Rudd
2001 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Ansar trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Paul Carberry
2002 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Intersky Falcon trained by Jonjo O'Neill and ridden by Liam Cooper
2003 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Intersky Falcon trained by Jonjo O'Neill and ridden by Liam Cooper
2004 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Solerina trained by James Bowe and ridden by Gary Hutchinson
2005 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Harchibald trained by Noel Meade and ridden by Paul Carberry
2006 The John James McManus Memorial Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Scarthy Lad trained by Thomas Gerard O'Leary and ridden by Barry Geraghty
2007 The Tipperary Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Salford City trained by Gordon Elliot and ridden by Nina Carberry
2008 The Tipperary Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Megans Joy trained by Colm Murphy and ridden by Davy Russell
2009 The Tipperary Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Go Native trained by Noel Meade and ridden by Paul Carberry
2010 The Tipperary Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Donnas Palm trained by Noel Meade and ridden by Paul Carberry
2011 The Tipperary Hurdle over 2 miles was won by The Real Article trained by Edward O'Grady and ridden by Barry Geraghty
2012 The Tipperary Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Captain Cee Bee trained by Eddie Harty and ridden by Mark Walsh
2013 The Tipperary Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Captain Cee Bee trained by Eddie Harty and ridden by Mark Walsh
2014 The Istabraq Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Rebel Fitz trained by Michael Winters and ridden by Barry Geraghty
2015 The Istabraq Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Plinth trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Mark Walsh
2016 The Istabraq Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Ivan Grozny trained by Willie Mullins and ridden by Ruby Walsh
2017 The Istabraq Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Jezki trained by Jessica Harrington and ridden by Mark Walsh
2018 The Istabraq Hurdle over 2 miles was won by Bedrock trained by Iain Jardine and ridden by Rachael Blackmore

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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