Punchestown Racecourse is located in the parish of Eadestown, near Naas in County Kildare, Ireland. The Punchestown track plays host to races throughout the months of April and May, which includes the National Hunt Festival of Ireland. The track is also home to the ‘Punchestown International Three Day Event and Horse Show’, which is a premier show-jumping and equestrian event.
Map to Punchestown Racecourse
Address: Co. Kildare, Ireland
History of Punchestown Racecourse
The first recorded meeting at Punchestown took place on 1824. In 1850 the Kildare Hunt Club chose Punchestown as the permanent venue for their annual meeting. Following this, in 1861, the National Hunt Steeplechase became the richest race in Ireland, with a prize fund of 300 pounds. In the early days of Punchestown races, the course consisted of natural double and single banks, with stone walls as race obstacles. In the 1960’s permanent enclosures and stands were added to Punchestown, to cater to a move away from traditional cross country races. Punchestown has now undergone a major redevelopment to support the massive crowds that flock to the Punchestown festival each April.
Notable Races of Punchestown Racecourse
The Punchestown Festival is the major horse racing festival of the Irish National Hunt season and is usually held in April over a period of 5 days. Many see this as the Irish equivalent of the Cheltenham festival in England. The main races of the carnival are:
- Grade 1 Champion Chase (2 mile chase)
- Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase (2 mile chase)
- Grade 1 Champion Hurdle ( 2 mile hurdle)
- Grade 1 World Series Hurdle ( 3 mile hurdle)
- Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle (2 mile hurdle)
- Grade 1 Memorial Champion Hurdle (2 mile, 4 furlong hurdle)
- Grade 1 Champion Novice Hurdle (3 mile, 1 furlong chase)
- Grade 1 Champion 4yo Hurdle (2 mile hurdle)
- Grade 1 Punchestown Gold Cup (3 mile, 1 furlong chase)
How to Get to Curragh Racecourse
Punchestown Racecourse can be reached by road, rail, and air.
Punchestown is located 22 miles from the Dublin city centre, and about 2 and half hours from Cork, Galway and Belfast. On non-festival days a bus service is available from Busaras Station in Dublin to Naas town. During the festival however there are direct services available from Dublin. Visitors can also reach the track via rail, with Naas/Sallins Station being the closest to the track. During the festival a shuttle bus will run from the train station directly to the track. For those who like to make a grand entrance Kildare Helicopters offer special charter rates to Punchestown during the festival.
Punchestown Racecourse Facilities
Food and Beverages – Visitors to the Punchestown course can take in a view of the track while enjoying a gourmet lunch. The Panoramic Restaurant offers great festival deals with packages including reserved car parking, a four course lunch, hot afternoon snacks, race cards, private betting facilities and closed circuit TV.
Corporate/Conference – Punchestown offer a range of private suit packages. These include the Panoramic suite, the Chairman’s Box and the Presidents Suite. Any of these corporate hospitality packages would be perfect for you next function.
Disabled Facilities – Disabled patrons are advised to contact the course prior to their visit to ensure all requirements can be met.