Tipperary horse racing - LeoVegas


Location and History

Tipperary is one of Ireland’s most famous racing tracks. It’s in County Tipperary, Ireland, and is just over two miles outside Tipperary Town, which has been an important market town in the past, best-known for the production of butter and the processing of milk.

Despite having a population of just under 5,000 as per the 2016 census, the town has produced two well-known Irish sports stars in the form of ex-Ireland international footballer and former Premier League star Shane Long, and former jockey Michael Kinane, who won the 2,000 Guineas on four occasions to go with a load of other high-profile wins before retiring in 2009.

Located between Limerick and Kilkenny, you can get to the track by road (it’s located on the main N24 Limerick-Waterford Road, by rail (5 min walk from Limerick Junction), bus, or by air, the nearest airport being Shannon Airport.

The first Tipperary races to take place date back to 1848, but that was actually at the Barronstown Course, before the action was moved to its current location at Limerick Junction in 1916. Its name was only changed from Limerick Junction to Tipperary in 1986.

Types of Racing at Tipperary and Notable Races

Tipperary is described by the website as “a left-handed oval of 1 1/4 miles with run in of 2 1/2 furlongs. Straight 5 furlongs shoot. 6 hurdles and 6 fences on the circuit. Watering system.”

It’s used for both National Hunt and flat racing between the months of April and October. It’s generally a case of one or the other when it comes to the type of racing it’s hosting, with one notable exception: the Super Sunday fixture. No, not yet another double-header of Premier League action on Sky Sports on a Sunday, but rather a mixed card of racing, the only one on the calendar at Tipperary all year long.

Usually held on the first Sunday of October every year, it hosts the following races:

RaceRace TypeGradeDistanceAge
Joe Mac Novice HurdleHurdleGrade 32m4yo +
Concorde StakesFlatGroup 37f 100y3yo +
Tipperary HurdleHurdleGrade 22m4yo +
Like A Butterfly Novice ChaseChaseGrade 32m 4f4yo +

This is the biggest event of the year at the track and attracts huge crowds who come not only for the racing but also the hospitality, where special occasions like birthdays and communions are celebrated alongside the course offering corporate hospitality options as well.

The other big race outside Super Sunday is the Fairy Bridge Stakes, held in August. It’s a Group 3 flat race open to thoroughbreds and mares, aged three or older.

Heroes at Tipperary

Let’s look at the trainers and jockeys who have taken a particular liking to this course over the years by racking up a load of winners or having a high strike rate.

Top Trainers


  • No one has had more winners here on the flat than W. McCreery with 33 from 197 runners at the time of writing (August 2023). Next best are David Marnane (25) and Mrs John Harrington (23).
  • The prize for the best strike rate, and by some distance, is Donnacha O’Brien, whose 7 winners from 17 starters translates to a remarkable SR of 41%; next best is G M Lyons with 24%, courtesy of 8 winners from 33 entries.

National Hunt

  • For jumps racing, Willie Mullins leads the way with 23 winners; Gordon Elliott is next best and the only other trainer with more than 20 winners here; got 21 to be precise.
  • Mullins also boasts the best strike rate with 37% (23-62).

Top Jockeys


  • The now-retired Pat Smullen has ridden 69 winners on the flat here, from 464 races; next best for number of wins is Declan McDonagh with 65 winners from 450 entries.
  • Interestingly, both Smullen and McDonagh have a strike rate of 14%, but they’re both trumped by Jonny Murtagh, whose strike rate at Tipperary is 23%. Mick Kinane’s was even better at 25%, but one man beats them all on strike rate: Donnacha O’Brien (now an established trainer, see above) won 28% of the races he entered here.

National Hunt

  • The great Ruby Walsh (retired) is king of the flat racing at Tipperary, with 41 wins, closely followed by Davy Russell (38) and Barry Geraghty (35).
  • Gold medal for best strike rate goes to Patrick Mullins, who has a barely believable record of riding the winner in 26 out of his 57 races, a strike rate of 45%.

Tipperary Trivia

  • As famous as the Tipperary racecourse is, it’s nothing in comparison to the racing operation taking place just 30 km or so away, over in Fethard, also County Tipperary. That’s the home of Coolmore Stud, the world’s largest breeding operation of thoroughbred racehorses in the world, owned and operated by the Magnier family. Past (and present) champion horses that have called it their home include: Sadler’s Wells, Danehill, Galileo, Yeats, Dylan Thomas, Rock of Gibraltar and Holy Roman Emperor. But covering a mare doesn’t come cheap; it can cost as much as 250,000 GBP for the company of one of Coolmore Stud’s top studs.
  • When National Hunt racing is taking place here, backing the favourite has been the way to go. They’ve won 42% of the time at Tipperary, which is truly remarkable.