Bellewstown Racecourse is located in County Meath, around 45 kilometres north of Dublin city centre. Racing started back in the 1700s, but the racecourse is best known for being the location of Barney Curley’s legendary betting coup on Yellow Sam back in 1975. Aided by the track’s countryside location and limited communication, he made a huge profit of £300,000 (worth over €1,700,000 in 2016). The unhappy bookmakers paid out the full winnings in single notes – 108 bags worth.
Racing takes place only twice a year at Bellewstown, in the form of two summer festivals; one over three days in July and one over two days in August.
Bellewstown Betting Tips
The jumps circuit at Bellwestown racecourse is a simple 9 furlong track. It has two sharp U-shaped bends and an uphill home straight. Hosting hurdles races only (there are no chase fences), it generally suits those who like to be with the pace due to the sharp nature of the bends. The 3 furlong home straight does allow for hold up horses to get into it if they are pacey enough. The small amount of racing and summer time scheduling means that the ground is normally on the firmer side, aided by good drainage. There are two hurdles in the back straight and three on the home straight, with a short run in of around a furlong from the final fence. This makes good jumping important.
The flat course is similar to the jumps course in layout, but has an additional chute at the start of the home straight. Five furlong, 1 mile 4 furlongs and 1 mile 6 furlongs races use this chute. The chute enters the home straight at a slight dog-leg and, with the home straight involving two road crossings, it can be a difficult race for novices. Again, the sharp bends benefit pacier horses rather than more galloping types. Although the long home straights allow hold up horses with a good turn of pace to make up ground effectively. Mile races are run around just one of the bends but, with the bend being cambered, excellent balance is required.
Bellewstown Draw Bias
Over the 5 furlong trip, there appears to be an obvious bias to being drawn in a higher number stall. This makes sense considering the fact that the chute dog-leg affects those drawn low worst. This means that those drawn high actually run over a slightly shorter distance and don’t have to navigate around the rail.
Over a mile, the opposite is true and there is a bias towards those drawn in a lower number stall. This allows these runners to get a better location on the rail for the sharp bend. This is an important factor to note when considering Bellewstown tips.
Bellewstown Betting Trends
Over jumps, Jack Kennedy has an excellent record here so far. He has had 12 rides over his short career, but has ridden four winners for a +£12.50 level stakes profit. This compares favourably with the three jockeys who have ridden the most winners at Bellewstown races in the last five seasons. Ruby Walsh, Paul Townend and Mark Walsh have slight losses at level stakes profit. This suggests that their mounts are over-bet in the markets.
Gordon Elliott has traditionally sent a large number of horses to Bellewstown races (57 in the last five seasons) but has just a 28% strike rate for a -£13 level stakes loss. On the other hand, A J Martin has an impressive 33% strike rate, with five winners from his 15 runners. While he may be around break even in terms of level stakes profit, there may be early value available when betting markets are initially priced up.
It’s also worth noting the recent performance of horses carrying the silks of J P McManus and Gigginstown here respectively. Both have large level stakes losses over the last five seasons from 45 and 22 runners respectively. Again, this suggests that their horses are being over-bet in the market.
On the flat, jockey stats are all fairly even; most of the top jockeys recording around a 15% strike rate. Reflecting the competitive nature of the racing here, only Chris Hayes has a level stakes profit (+£19 from 55 rides). However, all of that profit and more comes from the 2016 season where he rode a big price winner. This shows the problems that come with small sample sizes.