Ireland is home to an excellent selection of charming greyhound stadiums. One of the most conveniently located, at least for many travelling over from the UK, lies in the town of Newbridge, only around 50 miles to the south west of the capital city and airport hub of Dublin.
This County Kildare venue has experienced its fair share of ups and downs over the years, but appears on solid ground since being taken over by the Irish Greyhound Board, and provides all the facilities you need for an excellent night at the dogs. Punters attending the once-a-week Friday evening meeting will find quality action on the track, and excellent facilities off it, including a glass-fronted bar and restaurant.
What’s On Offer at Newbridge?
At present, the only meeting of the week takes place on a Friday evening. Gates open at 7 pm, with the first of eight races getting underway at 8pm, and the hare being set in motion for the last contest at 9:45pm. The track has previously hosted the prestigious Cox Cup, Unraced Bitch Stake, Juvenile Derby and Newbridge Oaks, but tends to offer predominantly graded class action these days.
- Circuit Length – 520y
- Sprint Distance – 300y
- Middle Distances – 525y (standard) – 550y
- Stayers Distance – 600y – 750y
- Marathon Distance – 810y
What Can You Expect?
General admission is priced at €10 for adults and €5 for students and OAPs, whilst kids go free with a paying adult. General admission entry grants access to the ground floor and outdoor grandstand area, including the glass-fronted Kilbelin Bar with seating areas, and betting facilities.
Also available at all meetings is the excellent value Punters Pack offer. Priced at just €18, this deal includes admission, a race card, a meal from the Barkers Bar fast food facility, and a beer, glass of wine or mineral water. The Punters Pack offer must be booked in advance and is only available to groups of six or more.
Those seeking a sit-down dining experience may wish to consider booking a table in the Masters Restaurant. Situated on the first floor of the grandstand, the glass-fronted façade of the restaurant provides excellent panoramic views of the track, weighing room and kennels.
Restaurant bookings are available to parties of two or more and must be booked in advance at a cost of €20 per head. This €20 covers entry to the stadium, table reservation, and bar and betting table service. All food and drinks are then ordered and paid for on the night, although the track will deduct €20 from the total bill at the end of the evening making this excellent value.
Finger Food Platter
An alternative to ordering from the main menu is the track’s Finger Food Platter offer. Available to parties of 10 or more, this deal is also priced at €20 per head and includes entry, reserved seating, bar and betting facilities and a choice of delicious platters.
How to Get There
The stadium address is Newbridge Greyhound Stadium, Cornelscourt, Newbridge, County Kildare, W12 FV06. The track itself lies within easy reach of Newbridge Town Centre, with the main approach roads being the N7 from the north, the M9 from the south and the M7 from the west. Free parking is available in the large car park located just outside the stadium.
Newbridge Train Station is the closest to the track and receives frequent services from Dublin. Located in the town centre, the station is around a 15-minute walk or short taxi journey from the stadium.
How to Get in Touch
- Tel: – +353 (0)61 448 080
- Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Twitter: – @newbridgedogs
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Following the closure of the old track at St. Conleth’s Park in 1968, the decision was taken to relocate to a slightly more rural location. Built by PJ Cox and sons Dermot and David, the new stadium, just to the north of the town in the Rickardstown/Cornelscourt area, first opened its doors in 1972.
A significant upgrade on the former site, the new facility included an impressive glass-fronted bar which immediately proved a big hit with the locals. The star attraction on the track in those early years came in the shape of the prestigious Cox Cup. Named in honour of the family behind the new stadium, the event regularly attracted many of the stars of the Irish greyhound scene, including Ardfelt Mick who broke the track record here back in 1991.
The first upgrades following the launch of the new track came in 1978, with the main grandstand being given a significant facelift. That same year also saw long-standing Racing Manager Denis Brennan step down, to be replaced by Christy Connolly.
Despite all of the track’s obvious positives in terms of location, facilities, and the quality of the racing action, Newbridge has been blighted by financial difficulties almost throughout its history. Battling on in the face of this adversity, the Cox family managed to continue to invest in the stadium, with the track surface benefiting from well-received improvements in 2002.
26th March, 2011 then appeared to spell the end for the track when the Cox family finally called it a day, citing falling attendances and sponsorship as the main contributing factors behind the closure. The sport of dog racing has long been facing an uphill battle just to survive and this pleasant Irish track seemed set to suffer the same fate as so many others around the British isles.
Morwell Racing Ltd Short Lived
The absence of greyhound racing in the area was, however, to be short-lived, with Newbridge reopening for business in August 2011 under the stewardship of new owners Morwell Racing Ltd. However even a consortium which included former Irish Greyhound Board (IGB) director, David Morgan, and Peter Franklin, who had previously served as the head of marketing for the IGB, failed to revive the track’s fortunes. By March of 2013 Morwell Racing Ltd had ceased to trade.
Irish Greyhound Board Takes Over
Where former IGB employees failed, the IGB may succeed, with the track now owned by the Irish Greyhound Board itself. Led by Philip Peake, the Newbridge venue now seems to be on a secure financial footing, with attendances on the up once more and racing secured.