A friendly track with plenty of charm, fine facilities and stunning panoramic views of the Waterford coastline – Tramore is a place where racing feels celebrated.
It’s certainly a place steeped in history: racing at Tramore dates back to the 19th century – at least. While racing in the existing location has taken place since 1912.
History is in the air and you can feel it, smell and hear it when approaching the entrance to the track, with the spectacular coastline standing tall in the background. This isn’t the shiny new Curragh or a renovated Leopardstown. Racing at Tramore feels raw and real.
No surprise, you can sense the age of the place everywhere you go but that doesn’t distract from the fact that the facilities are well maintained. Yes, some wear and tear is visible, which only adds to the charm of the place, though.
The layout of the actual racetrack is interesting. This is a tight, roller-coaster like 7 furlong circuit. It’s up and down, ever turning and I can see how some horses love it while others won’t travel a yard.
This is perfect from a racegoers perspective because you are able watch the horses pretty much the entire race. No big screen needed. You can get a superb look of how the race develops especially once the field races down the hill on the far end of the track before turning for home.
As for filling the empty stomach or quenching the thirst: Tramore simply gets it right, There is lovely bar for pints from the tab. Enough space to sit with screens to follow the racing.
Food options are varied thanks to a fine bistro that offers a variety of fresh food options. There is also a dedicated fish and ship shop at the track. Prices are fair, taking into considerations we’re on a racecourse. It was €15 to get in, a coffee €2.50 and the food is reasonably priced.
Getting around is easy. Parade ring, stands, betting ring and all the other facilities are in close proximity. Despite the age of the racecourse everything here is clean, tidy and as well maintained as can be. Also a big shoutout to all the staff. Every single one had a smile on their face.
A highlight of Tramore’s location is the spectacular scenic view you can get from the parade ring toward the Waterford coastline. You can see the waves crashing on the beach in the background and smell the salt in the air.
The racing on the day of my visit wasn’t spectacular. Maiden Hurdles, low-grade Handicap Chases and a bumper – but it’s the atmosphere that matters. And from that perspective it was a stellar day.
A bumper crowd in attendance marveled in the victories of household names Rachel Blackmore and Paul Townend. Particularly Blackmore’s winning rides were popular with the local crowd.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the Champions Parade of Cheltenham heroes Honeysuckle – the two-time Champion Hurdle winner, Energumene – the reigning Champion Chaser, and A Plus Tard – the 2022 Gold Cup winner.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when heading for County Waterford. In any case: all expectations where certainly exceeded. Tramore Racecourse is a stunning place to go racing. I loved every minute. It’s pushing hard to become my favourite track in Ireland, I must admit.
The combination of coziness, rural charm and history with scenic views, fine facilities and a lovely atmosphere make this a place where the sport of horse racing feels celebrated.
All Photos © Florian Christoph