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Visitors Guide

The 2018 Festival runs froms Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th April 2018.


The Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival is one of the highlights of the Irish sporting and social calendar. The special combination of thrilling sporting action, brilliant live entertainment, delicious food and drink, family fun, dazzling glamour or casual comfort is unequalled thanks to the unique Punchestown Festival atmosphere.

Racing: The Punchestown Festival is considered the grande finale of the jump season with top class horses, trainers and jockeys from both sides of the Irish sea converging on the Kildare venue to settle scores and confirm reputations. The quality of racing is unrivalled with a total of 12 Grade 1 contests taking place. Punchestown is proud to be the home of Irish National Hunt Racing and host the famous La Touche Cup, a spectators favourite run over the cross country course. It's a "must see" for any racing fan. 

  • Tuesday: BoyleSports Champion Chase Day 
    The opening day is a feast for racing fans with three Grade 1 races including the feature BoyleSports Champion Chase. In addition there are two other Grade 1's, The Herald Champion Novice Hurdle over 2 miles and the Growise Novice Chase over 3 miles. There are 7 races this day. First race 3.40pm and the last race is at  7.15pm.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
  • Wednesday: The Coral Punchestown Gold Cup Day  coral
    The highlight of the chase calendar with the Grade 1 Coral Punchestown Gold Cup. This day also features the hotly contested Irish Champion Bumper,The Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle over 3 miles and the Weatherbys GSB EBF Mares Flat Race. First race 3.40pm and the last race is at 7.15pm.
  • Thursday: The Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle Day
    There are two Grade 1 races including the Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle  and the Ryanair Novice Chase over 2 miles not to mention the famous La Touche Cross Country race on day three of the festival. First race 3.40pm and the last race is at 7.15pm.                                                                                                    
  • Friday: The BETDAQ Champion Hurdle day
    The jewel in the crown of the Festival. A favourite with race goers, locals and socialisers alike. This day gets the largest crowds and has a real party atmosphere. The quality of racing is fantastic with the best two mile hurdlers battling for the champion title.First race 3.40 last race 7.45pm.
  • Saturday: The AES Festival Family Day
    Since its introduction as a Festival day the Saturday has become the second biggest day of the entire event festival. The focus is on youth with the Champion 4 year old hurdle being the feature race. The Junior Jockey Fun Club is also available that day with pony rides, face painting, bouncy castles and so much more. A favourite with groups, locals and families. First race 2.30 last race 6.45pm.


Festival Race Times (based on previous year. Subject to minor changes)
Day Gates Open First Race Last Race
Tuesday 12 noon 3.40pm 7.15pm          (Bar Info: Last orders 9.15, bars close 9.45pm)
Wednesday 12 noon 3.40pm 7.15pm          (Bar Info: Last orders 9.15, bars close 9.45pm)
Thursday 12 noon 3.40pm 7.45pm         (followed By Goffs Festival Sale in parade ring)
Friday 12 noon 3.40pm 7.45pm        (Bar Info: Last orders 9.30, bars close at 10pm sharp)
Saturday 11.30am 2.30pm 6.45pm         (Bar Info:  Last orders 8pm, bars close 8.30pm sharp)

Dress Codes

There is no dress code at Punchestown. So dress up or dress down, it's up to you. Those attending hospitality pavilions tend to wear smart casual but most wear suits. However, how often do you get a chance to get dressed in your finest?

How, Where & When

Please see the Visit The Racecourse section of this site, sign up to our newsletter on the homepage or request a Visitors Guide (e-version or by post) for full information on how to get to Punchestown, accommodation options, hospitality and ticket packages and what's on in the locality.

Plan Your Visit To Punchestown