Sunday 17th of October 1999
A great day out at Cork Racecourse, Mallow on the 20th April 2019.
My son, daughter in law and myself travelled from Manchester to see one of our racehorses, Saltonstall, trained in Ireland by Ado McGuinness, run in the 2.30pm 1mile race, and as relatively new horse owners we were very excited and looking forward to the day and weekend ahead.
As we arrived early in the morning we decided to visit Blarney Castle which is only 8km from Cork airport. The views from the top of the castle were well worth the climb, there was a lot of steps!! The rooftop views of the gardens were spectacular - and we did manage to kiss the Blarney stone for luck.
I'm so glad we took time out and drove to the historic Blarney Castle is was fabulous and just wish we had more time to explore the castle and surroundings - it was certainly worth the visit.
Then we drove to Mallow where we had a good breakfast, quick change into our race’s outfits then off to Cork Racecourse.
Cork Racecourse is situated close to the town of Mallow on the main Killarney Road and stages both National Hunt and Flat racing.
The racecourse building design is very impressive, with two large stands overlooking the course with great visibility, modern and clean with large open spaces and open betting stands. It is mostly tarmacked making it easily accessible for everyone - no problem walking around in heels!
This was our first time at Cork racecourse and from the moment we arrived we were made to feel very welcome. We were met by a very nice gentleman who showed us the racecourse facilities including the 6 suites and the Owners and Trainers bar.
The Owners and Trainers bar is situated on the top floor of the Grandstand with a balcony which overlooked the course giving panoramic views of the racing. It was somewhere to sit comfortably whilst enjoying good food, drinks and a great view of the well thought out track.
As the weather was so good we mainly wandered around the course and sat at tables outside and near the exhibition tent enjoying the sunshine.
The racecourse is family friendly and there is no charge for Children under 14. The kid's playground looked great - almost wish I had brought some children with me!
As horse owners we were allowed, before the race, to go inside the parade ring to meet up with the Trainers and the jockey and see all the fine horses close up. Then off to the grandstand to cheer our horse on - unfortunately, we didn't return to the parade ring at the end of the race as winners! But that dampen our enjoyment.
The venue was very impressive and great for any kind of social event or outing - it is incredibly picturesque on the banks of the River Lee.
There are plenty of B&B and hotels in Mallow but we decided to stay at Gleneagles Hotel in Killarney The Gleneagles has a swimming pool, tennis courts, squash court, gym, and views of Killarney National Park and lakes. The hotel is attached to the INEC Centre which is the largest music and multi-purpose venue outside Dublin and has lots of bars restaurants and a wide range of entertainment for all ages - guests of the hotel get free entry.
Killarney National Park and lake were within walking distance of the hotel but we decided to take a trip on a horse and carriage (jaunting car) which proved to be a good choice as the driver had excellent knowledge and history of the area, and a real sense of humour. The tour of the lakes including Muckross / Ross Castle was absolutely delightful.
It was a really enjoyable experience and Killarney definitely worth the visit.
We had never been to Cork Racecourse before and we were all very impressed.
The racecourse itself is both spectacular and well thought out with plenty of amenities, it was very clean and the staff friendly and helpful.
It was a top-class day, in fact the whole weekend was amazing, and whether you are interested in thoroughbred racing, becoming an owner or forming a syndicate, or just like horses, the overall experience was incredible and I would definitely recommend to anyone for a great day out, socialising and excitement.
Nothing better than a day at the races and who knows you may even get a winner!