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The Centenary of Naas Racecourse (1924-2024) – Contents

Published in 2023, ‘The Centenary of Naas Racecourse – Nursery of Champions’ by Turtle Bunbury is available via www.naasracecourse.com for €50 plus post and packaging.

Established in 1924, Naas is renowned as a nursery of champions for both National Hunt and the Flat.

The numbers speak for themselves.

The winners of 30 Aintree Grand Nationals, 27 Cheltenham Gold Cups and eight King George VI Chases have honed their skills at Naas. In the past four years, horses have gone from Naas to the Cheltenham Festival and won the Gold Cup, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the Triumph Hurdle and the Queen Mother Champion Chase twice.

The Flat yields similarly excellent results. Little Big Bear, rated the best European two-year-old in 2022, won his maiden at Naas. So did Auguste Rodin, winner of the 2023 Epsom Derby. Since 2020, the Epsom Oaks, the English 2,000 Guineas, the English 1,000 Guineas, the Melbourne Cup and five Breeders’ Cups have also been won by horses that have pounded around the track at Naas.

This book traces the evolution of the track from a humble field on the outskirts of a bustling Irish market town to its present-day status as one of Europe’s best-loved boutique racecourses. It homes in on some of the most fascinating and successful horses to have competed on the course, as well as the jockeys, trainers, owners and spectators that have accompanied them.

This book was commissioned by the Naas Race Company. It was researched and written by Turtle Bunbury, with research assistance from Maria O’Brien. Designed by John Power, the book was printed by Die Keure in Bruges, who also produce books for the Tate, the Guggenheim and the Rijksmuseum.

 

Book Reviews

Introduction

Naas before the 1920s

1920s

1930s

1940s

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

1990s

2000s

2010s

2020s

The Osborne Family

Mrs Lawlor (1880-1969) of Naas – Caterer Extraordinaire

Margaret McGuinness

Pattern Races at Naas

De Burgh of Oldtown

Rogers of Airlie Stud

Roll of Honour

Further Reading

Acknowledgments