It is fair to say that over the past two decades Leopardstown has seen some extraordinary races.
The great memories etched into the history of the South Dublin racecourse. If there was a Champions League for racecourses, Leopardstown would for sure be there.
If you are wondering; “why is Leopardstown a real favourite for jockeys, trainers, owners and racegoers” then let me enlighten you.
In general, Leopardstown is a fair track with an open lefthanded flat track. The jumps course is a decent test of a horses jumping and aptitude to travel well into the race. The chase course is regarded as easier than the inner hurdles course. There are three fences down the back stretch that could really catch you out if you don’t meet them on a perfect stride.
There are infrequently any bad luck stories throughout the jumps season, except of course there is a big field handicap when things can get bumpy, it pays dividends to be up near the front in those types of races at this course, particularly on the hurdles course where you will need to have good strategic speed. The flat course is quite a stiff test, harder than most people apprehend. This is because there is a gradual rise to the finish and that can find out horses who may have stamina doubts, as they can get racing early due to the width of the course. All this makes Leopardstown the top dual-purpose course in Ireland.
Alongside the racing there is three floors of bars and restaurants available to all racegoers, and feedback from owners on the hospitality at Leopardstown has been very good. As I said earlier in this piece some remarkable races have been held at Leopardstown over the years, Florida Pearl winning four straight Hennessey Gold cups, Fantastic Light edging Galileo in the 2001 Irish Champion Stakes, the race of the century so far in my opinion. AP McCoy winning the Irish Hennessey a day after announcing he was going to retire, Sea the Stars winning the Irish Champion Stakes in 2009 and Almanzor winning the best flat race ever ran on these shores in last year’s Champion stakes.
However, one legendary horse stands above them all as the king of the track, that is of course Hurricane Fly. The best 2m hurdler since Istabraq went undefeated (10/10) at Leopardstown and won five Irish Champion hurdles at the track. I hope I have demonstrated in this article why I think Leopardstown is one of the best and fairest tracks in Ireland and beyond.