Horse Racing Ireland has released next year’s fixture list, with the total number of meetings remaining unchanged at 349.
The key points and changes are as follows:
- Leopardstown’s two-day meeting in January has been split up so that the fixtures will now be run on successive Sundays (18th & 25thJanuary), with the Boylesports Handicap Hurdle the feature race on Sunday 18th and the BHP Insurance Champion Hurdle the feature on Sunday 25th.
- The Flat ‘summer’ season starts slightly later than normal, at the Curragh on Sunday 29th March, and concludes with a two-day meeting at Leopardstown on Saturday/Sunday 24th /25th October.
- The Easter Festival at Fairyhouse will revert to a three-day meeting (from Sunday to Tuesday 5th –7th April), being ideally positioned in the calendar three weeks after Cheltenham and three weeks before the Punchestown Festival (28th April – 2nd May).
- The Bellewstown Festival in July will run from Thursday to Saturday (2nd – 4th July) from its previous Friday to Sunday slot. Fairyhouse has been moved back a week to stage a high-quality Flat card on Sunday 5th July.
- Irish Champions Weekend will be run for the second time as a two-day meeting at Leopardstown on Saturday 12th September and the Curragh on Sunday 13th September.
Announcing the 2015 Fixture List, Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of HRI, said:
“I am pleased that HRI is able to announce the 2015 Fixture List at this early stage so as to facilitate racecourses in their promotional plans for next year. We have been able to retain the same overall number of fixtures for 2015 despite a small decline in the number of horses in training this year. It is worth noting that in 2013, the average field size in Ireland was 11.62, compared to 10.92 in France and 8.95 in Britain, which shows the continued emphasis that we place on producing competitive racing.
“For 2015, we have ensured that there will be a top-quality Sunday National Hunt card throughout the core winter months, which includes scheduling two Leopardstown meetings on successive Sundays in January. There will also be a high-class Flat meeting staged every weekend of the summer season. The calendar has been kind in the way that the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse falls three weeks before the Punchestown Festival, with the early season Flat programme also being ideally scheduled.
“Looking ahead to 2016, Ireland has asked the European Pattern Race Committee to undertake a thorough review of the entire European middle distance three-year-old programme to determine whether beneficial changes can be effected for the future.”
The dates of the major racing Festivals for 2015 will be:
|Cork Easter Festival||4th – 6th April|
|Fairyhouse Easter||5th – 7th April|
|Punchestown National Hunt||28th April – 2nd May|
|Killarney Spring||10th – 12th May|
|Curragh Guineas||23rd – 24th May|
|Curragh Derby||26th – 28th June|
|Bellewstown||2nd – 4th July|
|Killarney July||13th – 16th July|
|Galway||27th July – 2nd August|
|Tramore||13th – 16th August|
|Killarney August||19th – 22nd August|
|Irish Champions Weekend – Leopardstown & the Curragh||12th – 13th September|
|Listowel||13th – 19th September|
|Down Royal||30th – 31st October|
|Fairyhouse Winter||28th – 29th November|
|Leopardstown Christmas||26th – 29th December|
|Limerick Christmas||26th – 29th December|