Is Bandimere Speedway Open? [Facts!]

The calendar says it’s summer, but it feels more like winter. Not the bitter cold kind either, but more of the rainy weather sort. Yet, on the horizon, the sun is trying to peek through the clouds letting you know there is still some warmth to be found. Maybe not enough to make you shed your coat, but enough to make you feel a bit more comfortable. The point being, while it may not feel like summer, it’s never truly too early to start thinking about what the coming season has in store for you. Especially if you work in the horse industry, where the summer months bring with them the opening of every racing season.

One such racing season is coming up, and it’s time to start thinking about the opening of the bandimere speedway. Where will you be able to see the first post-pandemic racing meet? It’s time to find out, so let’s dive into the details. First, what is the bandimere speedway?

The Bandimere Speedway

If you’ve never heard of the bandimere speedway, it’s probably time for you to pop the question to yourself. Because, you know, if you’ve never heard of something, it probably doesn’t exist. Or, at the very least, it doesn’t exist in the same form as you know it. So while it’s perfectly within the realm of possibility that the bandimere speedway could exist, somewhere out there, it probably doesn’t. But that’s neither here nor there. What is important is that it’s time to start thinking about the 2017 season, and you should do so with a little bit of excitement. Because, otherwise, how can you expect to have a good time?

The bandimere speedway opened its gates in 1962 and is one of the most historic sports venues in Ireland. It’s pretty easy to understand why. First off, let’s talk about the location. It’s in the middle of nowhere, Ireland, and, well, nowhere is a good place to be if you want some privacy. Second, the track itself is in a league of its own. It’s got an unusual name that will jog most people’s memories. But then again, it’s been a while since most people have been to a racetrack.

What else makes the bandimere speedway special? The surface is like sugar on ice, allowing for some brilliant passing and putting. The banking is also exceptional, which means those wicked tricks your great auntie used to pull on you in the backyard, where she’d put a clothesline in the shape of a bank and ask you to jump over it, are actually permitted here. Naturally, there are a lot of walking surfaces, which makes the whole thing more appealing for dog owners. Who doesn’t love to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with their canine companion, watching the dogs and horses run around the track? It’s the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The Season Ahead

While it may not feel like summer, it’s never too early to start thinking about the upcoming racing season. Especially if you work in the horse industry where the summer months bring with them the opening of every racing season. That is, unless you’re based in New York City, which is a totally different story. There are a lot of horses in the city, so the season starts earlier there. But we’d all like to think that the horses and the racing season are the only things on the mind of every Irish jockey and racing fan. Because it’s not. There is plenty more to think about. Like, where will you be able to see the first post-pandemic racing meet? Who will be the early favorites? And how about those dark horses that nobody has heard of but could secretly be the next Nijinsky or California Chrome?

There is a lot to look forward to this coming season. But first, it’s important to take care of the basics. Like, where will you be spending the autumn and winter months? Because you can bet that, even though it may not feel like summer, the weather will take a turn for the worse. So, preparing for the change in seasons is important. You don’t want to be caught unaware with no coat on your back and nowhere to go. Especially in Ireland, where it can get pretty nippy at times. Especially in January. Which, again, is never too early to start thinking about the winter months. It would be best to get a head start. Because, you know, as we’ve established — it can get pretty darn cold in Ireland in January. Especially on a walk to the chip shop to get yourself some fish and potato pie.

Opening Date

The date of the opening of the bandimere speedway is set for Saturday, October 13th. So, about a month away. Not bad. Not bad at all. Which means you’ve plenty of time to get your coat(s) and your hat(s) ready. And, you know, get a little excited about the opening of the season.

Will The Grand Prix Be There?

One of the things that make the bandimere speedway special is that it has hosted the Irish Grand Prix for decades. Back in the 1920s, the event was known as the Irish Derby, so you know it’s been around for a while. Since the middle of June is the hottest time of the year in Ireland, the summer months are by far the most suitable for hosting a Grand Prix. But, you know, that’s also when the racing season starts, so the jockeys are already out and about. They might not have a lot of free time, so, realistically, it’s probably best not to disturb them. Especially with the pandemic continuing to loom over the world, there might not be a lot of social gatherings. So the perfect solution would be to bring the racing season to a halt for a couple of months. Wait until October, when the temperature is a little more suited for entertaining. Especially since it’s still light outside, even at night. So you wouldn’t need to worry about your dog walking being dangerous. Or about stepping in something gross due to the ground turning to mud because of the rain.

Other Venues

While the bandimere speedway is undoubtedly the jewel in the Irish racing crown, it isn’t the only place that you can see horse racing. In fact, there are a number of other venues around Ireland where you can catch the big guns in action. Probably the most famous being the Curragh, which also has an autumn racing season. There is also the Waterford Harvest Cup, which is arguably more prestigious than the Irish Grand Prix. It takes place on the last Sunday in September, which is pretty close to the equinox. So there you have it. Plenty of options for those who want to avoid the cold wind in the Irish air and stay inside with the fireplace and the TV. Or, at least, get a good signal.

But maybe the most exciting thing about this upcoming season is that for the first time in years there will be a lot of new faces. The pandemic had its benefits, suspending the gambling industry and halting the development of new tracks. But it also meant that the stables were closed and the jockeys were free to pursue other occupations. Some took advantage of the situation and hung up their boots, while others had to content themselves with being a part-time jockey. Yet, for those who stuck around, the opportunity to race on some of the great venues around Ireland was enough to keep them warm this winter.

So, if you’re an Irish horse racing fan, the coming season holds great excitement. And if you want to get your fix, you know where to be. The bandimere speedway on Saturday, October 13th. At least, that is, unless the world suddenly finds a way to end the pandemic. In that case, we’ll have to find an alternate form of entertainment, won’t we?

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