Fairyhouse is the home of the Irish Grand National and the Co Meath venue has hosted the famous steeplechase for more than 150 years.
The Irish National is the centrepiece of the Easter Festival at Fairyhouse and is traditionally staged on Easter Monday in an early evening slot.
Here is our guide to Fairyhouse racecourse.
|Fairyhouse Easter Festival
|Fairyhouse Racecourse, Ratoath, Co Meath
|Saturday March 30th – Monday April 1st, 2024
|How to watch
|bet365 Sports Live Streaming, RTE & Racing TV
Fairyhouse is predominantly a jumps course, though they do host some Flat action across the summer months, mostly midweek evening meetings, with their highlight being the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes over seven-furlongs in July.
It's over the obstacles that the Co Meath venue really comes into its own, however.
The Bobbyjo Chase in February is named after the 1999 Aintree National winner and is a key Irish trial for the same race.
The Easter Bank Holiday weekend is when Fairyhouse comes to life for the three-day Irish Grand National meeting, culminating in the big race itself on Easter Monday over three-miles-and-five-furlongs.
The quality meeting also boasts Grade 1s via the Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final and the Willow Warm Gold Cup.
The Fairyhouse Easter Festival is filled with glamour, festivities, music, entertainment and of course top class National Hunt Racing with over €1.25million in prize money up for grabs.
Earlier in the jumps season, the Grade 1 Hatton's Grace Hurdle is amongst the features at the Winter Festival in early December alongside top novice contests in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle and Drinmore Novice Chase.
Fairyhouse is a wide, galloping, square right-handed track measuring a mile-and-three-quarters. There is a steady climb on the side away from the stands before a descent in the back straight. There are eleven fences to a circuit, and a run-in of around a furlong after jumping the last. The three-furlong home straight is slightly uphill.
The fences there are some of the stiffest around and wouldn't be very forgiving to a novice.
On the Flat, the square-shaped course is a mile-and-six-furlongs in length and right-handed with a straight that is three-furlongs long and slightly uphill. It generally suits horses that have the pace to race prominently and, over shorter trips especially, a high draw can be advantageous.
Fairyhouse racecourse is situated in the parish of Ratoath in Co Meath, some 27km north-west of Dublin.
As with other Irish racecourses, there is no formal dress code, with smart casual usually the best option and due consideration given to the potential for inclement weather.
Admission to Fairyhouse race meetings is free to under-16s along with various other promotions, such as concession rates for OAPs.
There are plenty of options to enjoy your day at Fairyhouse Racecourse. You can purchase tickets online or General Admission tickets at the gate on the day. The Bobbyjo Bistro is one of Irish racing's most unique hospitality areas in that it has stunning views of both the track and the Parade Ring.
There are also private suites including the Suite Level Restaurant in the Powers Stand and The Arkle Package in the Ballyhack Suite for those seeking an enhanced day at the races.