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  • Racing Guide

    Navan is a left-handed oval track of one mile and four furlongs with a testing uphill finish of approximately two furlongs. Our straight sprint track is nearly six furlongs in length. From the last bend to the finish line is three and a half furlongs in distance, making it a very long home straight. Navan is often referred to as a ‘big galloping track’ which means that there is plenty of space and scope and all horses should get a fair run. You will hear people say that ‘it takes a good one to win at Navan’ and we are privileged to host horse (and jockeys!) who are household names.

    National Hunt (NH) Racing 

    At Navan, we host both hurdle and steeplechase racing, which come under the code National Hunt (NH). 

    The steeplechase circuit of the track consists of nine fences, seven plain fences and two ditches – one on each narrow end of the loop. In a three mile chase, like the Troytown Handicap Chase held every November, there is a total of 17 fences to be jumped. Our ‘chases’ are started with a tape barrier and are run over distances from two to three miles. While National Hunt racing takes place all year round, jump racing at Navan starts in September and we have meetings every month through the winter and spring until April.

    The hurdle track at Navan is run to the inner of the chase track and hurdles can be moved slightly for each race meeting, giving horses and jockeys some fresh ground. There is a total of seven flights to be jumped on the hurdle circuit. Hurdle races are also run over distances from two to three miles. Horses will jump a minimum of ten flights so you will see plenty of jumps action at a National Hunt meeting!

    Most National Hunt meetings conclude with a Bumper, a flat race for young jump horses run over a minimum distance of two miles. These are confined to amateur jockeys and provide you with an opportunity to see some beautiful young horses – stars in the making. 

    Flat Racing

    Flat racing is the second code of racing and as the name suggests horses compete on the flat, without any jumps. You can see a greater range of distances in flat racing, from sharp, sprints over five furlongs to stamina tests over two and half furlongs. These races are started from starting stalls. Flat racing at Navan commences in April and continues through the summer and autumn months, finishing up in October. 

    Horse Racing Lingo

    The jargon and terminology associated with horse racing can, at times, be bizarre! If you are new to racing, or would like an explanation of particular racing term, please take a look at our Racing Glossary.


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