Down Royal Racecourse



About Down Royal Racecourse

Down Royal Racecourse is one of Northern Ireland’s two tracks and it is situated just 16km to the southwest of Belfast city centre. Racing takes place under both Flat and National Hunt codes throughout the year with twelve annual meetings, the showpiece on the Flat undoubtedly being the Ulster Derby meeting in June. The feature race on the card is a valuable handicap race usually won by a smart type as is the principal supporting race, the Ulster Oaks.

The other big meeting of the year is the Champion Chase which takes place in November, this feature boasting four Graded National Hunt races.


Location of Down Royal

Down Royal is located approximately 16km from Belfast and less than 4km from Lisburn, the latter being the location of the closest train station. The rail connections with the Northern Irish capital are excellent with regular services and a taxi from the station to the racecourse will set you back around £7.

Driving to the venue is very easy with the M1 motorway and the A3 passing close by, however parking is rather limited at the track and it can get busy and congested at the bigger meetings.


Flat Track

This is a two-mile long right-handed circuit, square in general shape and undulating for most of the last mile or so. The run-in has a slight uphill gradient and a chute is used for five furlong races, this joining the main track after approximately one furlong. Races of this trip are on the turn slightly prior to straightening after about a furlong out.



Jumps Track

A square-shaped track, right-handed and undulating in nature, the length being around one mile and seven furlongs. There are ten fences on one circuit of the chase course, four of these being in the last four furlongs. The run-in is a length of less than one furlong. No fence is jumped on more than one occasion in chases of two miles or more.



Down Royal Racecourse Betting Guide


This is a big track, however there is lots of turning and a horse with plenty of pace tends to do well here. Nevertheless given the track layout races can change late on as finishers get stuck into leaders which have started racing too early. Speed is the key on the sprint track and a low draw can be a big advantage here.


This track is galloping in nature and it is seen as a fair track with runners able to win from any position. The chase track runs around the outside and horses tend to go wider in search of good ground.

Trainers & Jockeys

Pick of the trainers on hurdle and chase over the past three years is Gordon Elliott a combined total of 28 wins from 150 runners while he also dominates National Hunt Flat with 9 wins from 27. Joseph P O’Brien dominates in Flat with 7 wins from 37 over the same period.

Top jockeys over the past three years have been: Chase – S W Flanagan (7 from 28 rides); Hurdle – D N Russell (10 from 43); National Hunt Flat – Mr J J Codd (4 from 14); Flat – S Foley (8 from 48).