More bars may be opened to cut queues on big days at Curragh as bosses begin review of new facilities during Derby Festival

Curragh may add more bars to cut queues on big days

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby race in front of the impressive Aga Khan Stand

The Curragh Racecourse said that putting more bars in place for busy days at the track will be one option looked after following teething issues with the redeveloped facilities on Derby Day. 

Some racegoers endured long queues for bars, cafes and toilets as almost 12,000 people flocked to the flat racing HQ. 

Curragh chief executive Derek McGrath said building works only finished 10 weeks ago and that staff have been working very hard since then to bring the venue up to world standard/

He said: “It was a very important moment in that the venue worked. We’re nowhere near where we want to be but it was a good start.

“We’ve had the venue for ten weeks and my team has been working 24 hours a day to get it ready."

"We’ve had issues, such as the fire alarms going off on Friday, and from an organisational point of view it’s how you react to these things. Every time you open up you learn something," he told The Irish Times. 

Crowds were also a disappointing factor as the attendance for Thursday was 2,859 and Friday was 3,661.

Horse Racing Ireland boss Brian Kavanagh admitted the figures were less than ideal for a meeting of that quality.

He added: "It's good to try different things, but it's something we'll have to review when the dust settles.

"It didn't work well and we'll have to consider other options, whether that means a Friday night, Saturday and Sunday or a two-day fixture over Friday and Saturday, I don't know. All options will have to be considered."

He told the Racing Post: "I'd have issues of concern with regard to the raceday experience and the long queues for bars, food and toilets. We need to look at ways of drawing the crowd to other parts of the track and review the allocation of bars and restaurants throughout the enclosures. Perhaps we need to erect more temporary facilities."

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