New Book Honours 100 Years of Naas Racecourse

Trophy presentation at Naas in 1924 | Siobhan English

A new book, The Centenary of Naas Racecourse, written by renowned historian and author Turtle Bunbury, will be released beginning on Nov. 17.

This fascinating book tells the story of the farmers and sportsmen who founded the racecourse, and touches on some of the politicians, film stars and royals who have visited over the last 100 years, including Walt Disney, Robert De Niro and Bono. There are countless stable yards and training operations around Naas, which has been at the epicentre of the Irish equestrian world for at least 260 years.

“Naas Racecourse has a tremendous story to tell,” Bunbury said. “The track has played such an important role in the evolution of Irish racing over the last 100 years. It's been the scene of some incredible sporting and historical moments and racing at Naas continues to be a major part of Irish social life generally. I hope people enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed piecing the story together.”

Known as 'The Nursery of Champions', the track has been where some of Europe's most talented horses have raced. To date, the winners of 30 Aintree Grand Nationals, 27 Cheltenham Gold Cups and eight King George VI Chase have either started their careers in Naas or raced on the track. In the past four years alone, 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.

Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}), the winner of this year's G1 Betfair Derby and G1 Irish Derby, got his start at Naas, as did last year's top-rated juvenile Little Big Bear (Ire) (No Nay Never). Since 2020, the G1 Oaks, the G1 2000 Guineas, the G1 1000 Guineas, the G1 Melbourne Cup and four Breeders' Cup races have also been won by horses who started at Naas.

“We are so proud of the history and story of Naas and are delighted that it's finally been told so eloquently by Turtle Bunbury,” Dermot Cantillon, Chairman of Naas Racecourse. said. “It's remarkable to look back at all the old photographs of both famous people and horses and it gives all of us here at Naas Racecourse an enormous sense of pride to be part of something very special. Our founding members paved the way for us and it's up to us to keep evolving and to keep adding to our racegoers experience through competitive racing and through the guest experience. Huge thanks to everyone who helped us to bring this book to life, we are delighted with it.”

The Centenary of Naas Racecourse will be available in hardback and can be ordered on the Naas Racecourse website.

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