Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) today published the fixture list for 2022 which will see the overall number of fixtures increasing to 390 next year.

The list contains 387 meetings at this stage, as three ‘floating fixtures’, up from one last year, will be kept in reserve to be programmed at short notice by the HRI Fixtures Committee at a time when demand for opportunities to run is very high.

The number of fixtures for 2022 is an increase of 10 on this year’s original figure, with seven additional Turf fixtures and three All-Weather fixtures scheduled.

The overall number of turf fixtures will be 346 (up from 339) with 44 All-Weather fixtures (up from 41).

The number of blank Sundays has been retained at six (April 24, June 19, July 24, August 28, September 4 and October 9) while the number of Saturday evening meetings is reduced from four to three: Bellewstown (July 2), Kilbeggan (August 6) and Tramore (August 13).

All seven days of the Galway Festival will be run as mixed meetings (Flat and National Hunt), as will the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the Listowel Festival and ‘Super Sunday’ at Tipperary on October 2. The overall number of mixed meetings is reduced to 11 from 17 in 2021.

The opening day of the 2022 flat turf season will be held at the Curragh on Saturday, March 26. A weekend of quality flat racing will continue at Naas the following afternoon (Sunday, March 27), giving the new season a higher-profile launch.

The Curragh will host a three-day Guineas Festival with an additional fixture on Friday, May 20 granted to the racecourse.

There is a later date for the Munster National meeting at Limerick. The fixture has been moved back two weeks to Sunday, October 23rd

Dundalk’s Winter AWT Finals meeting will now be held on Friday, March 25, while there will be four Wednesday afternoon AWT fixtures in January and February, two dates being new fixtures and two being re-located meetings from April and May, after the late addition of equivalent fixtures to the 2021 programme proved beneficial in addressing the strong demand for opportunities over the winter.

A significant adjustment to the National Hunt calendar will see a later date for the Munster National meeting at Limerick. The fixture has been moved back two weeks to Sunday, October 23 to provide the ideal calendar location between the Kerry National at Listowel on Wednesday, September 21 and the Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan on Sunday, November 27.

Jason Morris, HRI’s Director of Racing, said: “We continue to see strong growth in our horse population numbers (up 19% year-on-year) and average field size figures (up from 11.8 to 12.3 runners per race), and this is reflected in the increased fixture list that we are announcing for 2022.

"By retaining three meetings to be allocated at short notice during next year, we can retain flexibility to respond quickly to the demands of the horse population as they materialise in 2022.”

The dates of the major racing Festivals for 2022 will be:

Dublin Racing Festival February 5 & 6

Cork Easter April 16 - 18

Fairyhouse Easter April 16 - 18

Punchestown Festival April 26 - 30

Killarney Spring May 15 - 17

Curragh Guineas May 20 - 22

Down Royal Ulster Derby June 17 & 18

Curragh Derby Festival June 24 - 26

Bellewstown Summer June 30 – July 2

Killarney July July 11 - 15

Curragh Oaks July 16 & 17

Galway Festival July 25 - 31

Tramore August August 11 - 14

Killarney August August 18 - 20

Irish Champions Weekend September 10 & 11

Listowel Harvest Festival September 18 - 24

Down Royal NH Festival November 4 & 5

Punchestown Winter November 19 & 20

Fairyhouse Premier Jump December 3 & 4

Leopardstown Christmas December 26 - 29

Limerick Christmas December 26 - 29