The Bellewstown races take place on top of the picturesque Hill of Crockafotha in County Meath just 35km north of Dublin. It is one of the most historic racecourses in Ireland, with racing having been recorded there as long ago as 1726.
Racing only takes place at Bellewstown on five occasions each year which is broken up into two summer festivals that showcase racing on the Flat and over hurdles, namely a three-day meeting in early-July and a two-day meeting in late-August. The racing is always fiercely-competitive there, with the Crockafotha Handicap Hurdle at the July meeting and the Mullacurry Cup Handicap Hurdle at the August meeting always being particularly well contested.
Quite a sharp, left-handed oval of about nine furlongs. It is undulating, with the final two furlongs slightly uphill.
Bellewstown is a track that really requires a balanced horse with pace. The cambers, undulations, tight turns and road crossings can all contribute to unbalancing a horse and having a horse that has the balance to deal with all that and hold their position is crucial. Because of all those factors, being up on the pace can be a big help to a horse that is handling the challenges of the track. In terms of draw, the bends are obviously tight and you wouldn’t want to be slung wide on them, but there are good long straights which gives a good chance to get a slot. The sprint track is far from straightforward for horses, it is always on the turn and a low draw is certainly a help on firmer ground. It is quite difficult to make up ground on the sprint track, as it all happens very fast and there are two separate road crossings which can unbalance horses. They do a particularly good job with the track there as no matter how dry the summer gets, they always water very efficiently and produce a safe surface.
A sharp, undulating left-handed track around nine furlongs in extent, and, with an uphill finish of around three furlongs, suits the handy, nippy type. There are five hurdles to a circuit, with no races staged over fences. The course is situated on high ground and going on the firm side is usual for the three-day fixture held in early-July.
The hurdle track there rides quite well, as the straights are good and long. While the bends are sharp enough, particularly the one away from the stands, they are well cambered so it doesn’t ride as fast as it might otherwise and they certainly don’t ride as sharp as they do on the flat track which is on a tighter inside line. I found it wasn’t hard to come from off the pace there as they usually go a good gallop and the long straight gives you a chance to get involved from off the pace. In general I consider it to be a fairer track that many would give it credit for being and I wouldn’t consider it one that would breed a track specialist over hurdles. In terms of the ground, they always do a very good job watering there.
|G M Lyons||25||10||6||€100,789||40%||£15.46|
|Joseph P O'Brien||19||3||9||€24,948||15.79%||-£1.25|
|K J Condon||9||2||6||€18,082||22.22%||-£.67|
|A P O'Brien||8||2||5||€14,772||25%||-£2.25|
|T G McCourt||23||2||4||€14,168||8.7%||£59.00|
|W P Mullins||19||8||4||€60,983||42.11%||£.67|
|Joseph P O'Brien||23||5||9||€46,775||21.74%||£2.17|
|S J Mahon||33||3||7||€22,300||9.09%||-£15.25|
|G P Cromwell||15||2||4||€14,784||13.33%||-£2.67|
|H de Bromhead||7||2||3||€18,171||28.57%||£12.50|
|M J McDonagh||4||2||1||€19,988||50%||£14.00|
|J C McConnell||8||1||4||€8,008||12.5%||-£6.25|
|National Hunt Flat|
|Joseph P O'Brien||1||1||0||€7,084||100%||£1.25|
|S J Mahon||5||0||1||0%||-£5.00|
|C A McBratney||2||0||1||0%||-£2.00|
|Ms M Mullins||1||0||1||0%||-£1.00|
|C T Keane||41||9||11||€92,164||21.95%||-£3.79|
|D P McDonogh||24||6||7||€52,340||25%||£22.50|
|G F Carroll||24||6||6||€53,875||25%||£6.00|
|C D Hayes||41||5||16||€38,702||12.2%||£13.75|
|P J Smullen||24||5||8||€47,043||20.83%||-£.13|
|O J Orr||15||3||4||€18,143||20%||£20.00|
|D W O'Connor||17||3||2||€28,642||17.65%||-£5.90|
|K J Leonard||32||2||10||€12,311||6.25%||-£15.50|
|W M Lordan||24||2||7||€15,092||8.33%||-£16.50|
|D N Russell||16||4||3||€45,845||25%||-£11.50|
|B J Cooper||10||3||5||€31,845||30%||£6.45|
|J M Moore||14||2||6||€16,312||14.29%||-£2.25|
|D G Hogan||10||2||4||€13,541||20%||£8.50|
|S A Shortall||14||2||2||€18,814||14.29%||£15.00|
|J S McGarvey||9||2||2||€15,091||22.22%||-£3.27|
|J P O'Sullivan||6||2||2||€20,020||33.33%||£26.00|
|National Hunt Flat|
|Ms L O'Neill||3||1||2||€6,468||33.33%||-£1.20|
|Mr T Hamilton||2||1||0||€7,084||50%||£.25|
|Mr J Hogan||1||1||0||€7,084||100%||£1.63|
|Miss N Fahey||1||1||0||€6,554||100%||£2.25|
|Mr L J McGuinness||1||1||0||€6,457||100%||£.80|
|Ms K Walsh||3||0||3||0%||-£3.00|
|Mr P W Mullins||2||0||2||0%||-£2.00|
|Ms N Carberry||2||0||1||0%||-£3.00|
|Miss K Harrington||2||0||1||0%||-£3.00|