Punchestown Racing

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There can be few places in the world where horseracing is held in such esteem as Ireland. County Kildare in particular has the perfect natural land for training and races horses and in addition to the internationally renowned Curragh has the further internationally significant horseracing venues of Punchestown and Naas. When it comes to Punchestown racing it is the National Hunt which rules supreme and the course is regarded as the home of Irish National Hunt racing.

Free Horse Racing Tips, Click Here! Punchestown gets this revered status from its role as the host of the National Hunt Festival of Ireland, an April meeting which attracts all the best horses, trainers and jockeys as well as huge crowds who appreciate the world class racing and the grand social event that goes with it.

Punchestown racing dates back to 1861 and the appeal was immediate, with the start of the meeting in 1868 drawing crowds of 150,000 people.

The instant and continued popularity of the course is certainly down to the quality of the competition and standard of the course facilities but the location of Punchestown is also a factor in its success, situated as it is, just over 20 miles from Ireland’s capital Dublin.

Access to the course from the capital is made all the more convenient by special raceday bus services and there is also a free bus service for train passengers into nearby Naas.

Punchestown then is a popular venue for those looking for a great day out close to Dublin as well as for confirmed race aficionados.

There is Punchestown racing held throughout the National Hunt calendar but it is one meeting which most defines the course to the world and that is the Festival, the last in the season and chance for runners and riders to end on a high.

The five day Festival is held in the last week in April, from Tuesday to Saturday and it draws great crowds from near and far for what is a true celebration of horseracing.

There are many festivals which feature Grade I races but few can match the 11 hosted by Punchestown during the National Hunt Festival. Punchestown racing highlights include the Champion Novice 4 year old Hurdle, the Champion Chase, Champion Hurdle, and the richest prize in Irish horseracing, the Punchestown Gold Cup.
Punchestown Racing, inside rail

The party atmosphere at Punchestown during the Festival is truly something special and forms as much a part of the appeal as the incredible Punchestown racing. No stranger to hosting large live music events, the main stage at the course features live bands, children's entertainment and fashion shows and there are street entertainers and all manner of social interaction throughout the event in the many bars and public spaces of the course.

Punchestown Racing, winner The festivities continue long after the racing has ended. There is no dress code but many racegoers make the effort and compete for best dressed prizes.

In addition to standard admission there are special deals and packages for racegoers to get the most from the day.

These include two great packages for groups of 10 persons or more, the Party Punchestown Pack and the Lunch Box Pack.

Both include general admission, an official raceday program, and either two vouchers for betting and drinks or one voucher for food.

Dining in style is a raceday feature enjoyed by many and the Punchestown Pavilion Package is designed with those people in mind. Discounted for early booking, this package comprises a badge for the Reserved Enclosure, reserved seating for the day at tables of 10, a four course lunch, and further hot snacks in the afternoon. Also included are the services of a tipster and live entertainment after the final race of the day. Many other hospitality options are available.