Punchestown is host to twenty fixtures across 2023 to include;
The Punchestown Festival – Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29 April 2023
Welcome Back Jumps – Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 October 2023
The Punchestown Winter Festival – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 November 2023
View the full 2023 Fixture List HERE.
Tuesday 22nd March 2022 – Barberstown Castle was today unveiled as a major player on the Irish hotel and sporting hospitality scene with the announcement of a dual racecourse sponsorship that will see the county Kildare venue feature at both Punchestown, the home of Irish jump racing and The Curragh, home of Irish Flat racing.
The newly sponsored €125,000 Grade 1 Barberstown Castle Novice two mile chase is one of the features on Punchestown Festival Thursday. The race is arguably one of the most prestigious of its category on the calendar with an all-star line-up of previous winners including Douvan, Moscow Flyer, Un De Sceaux, War Of Attrition, Chacun Pour Soi and Big Zeb. British trainers have fared well in this contest with Tom George’s Gods Own and the Philip Hobbs trained Captain Chris both landing the spoils. This feature sponsorship is part of a multi-year accommodation partner arrangement at the famous jump season grand finale.
Meanwhile, across the county at flat racing headquarters, Barberstown Castle will become an official hotel partner of the racecourse in an overall package that includes the sponsorship of the five race ‘Barberstown Castle Series’. The first leg of this initiative kicks off on the opening day of the flat season, this Saturday 26th March and takes in races at some of the major classic weekends before the finale on 23rd October.
Amanda Torrens, the new owner of Barberstown Castle who also has enjoyed success as a racehorse owner commented on the announcement: “Our vision is clear, we wish to establish Barberstown Castle as the first choice for the racing community, horse tourism and bloodstock industry. We embrace the wonderful opportunity to partner with both the home of Irish jump and flat racing. Barberstown Castle is open for business and we look forward to welcoming the racing family here. It is wonderful to be in a position to combine two of my passions, racing and Barberstown in this exciting venture”.
Highly regarded in the hotel industry, Barberstown Castle’s Managing Director Ted Robinson welcomed the news: “ These are exciting times at Barberstown Castle because with racing power houses like The Curragh and Punchestown preparing to launch their seasons we here at the hotel are preparing to relaunch and rebuild this wonderful historic venue. We have 60 bedrooms, are located 30 minutes from Dublin airport, 20 minutes from both racecourses. We are situated at the gateway to the thoroughbred county and Hidden Heartlands and we are excited for what this venture will bring.
Punchestown’s Conor O’Neill commented: “This partnership is the ideal collaboration in the sense that both the Barberstown Castle and Punchestown teams share the ethos that the racing experience does not begin and end at the racecourse. Indeed, it is the hospitality, value, quality of food and accommodation and the money can’t buy aspect of genuine friendliness that sets the experience apart and makes visitors return again and again. This is why the whole package needs to work. There is no more powerful marketing tool than the word of mouth and we look forward to working with Amanda, Ted and the Barberstown team to achieve this joint ambition. O’Neill added “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank outgoing sponsor Ryanair who have transported so many of our overseas clients to the festival and will continue to do so before their onward journey to our hotel partners like Barberstown Castle!”
Evan Arkwright, Curragh Racing and Sponsorship Manager said,“We are delighted that Amanda Torrens and her team at Barberstown Castle have joined our portfolio of sponsors and look forward to developing a long and successful partnership with particular emphasis to work with them on a variety of initiatives to raise the profile of the hotel and to ensure the Castle is one of the premier destinations for our many overseas visitors. The race series will be an exciting addition to our season and it is very positive that stable staff will be acknowledged for their hard work and dedication
The Barberstown Castle Series will kick off this Saturday, 26th March, followed by races taking place during the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival, Juddmonte Irish Oaks Weekend and Goffs Million Race Day, while the finale of the series will feature on Sunday 23rd October.
The winning owner, trainer and jockey of all five races will win a voucher to include an overnight stay in the hotel, while the trainers of the first four horses in each race will accumulate points with the highest point scorer winning a cash prize to be donated to the charity of their choice.
The Grade 1 Barberstown Castle Novice Champion Chase will take place on Thursday 28th April on day three of the 2022 Punchestown Festival.
Trainer Peter Fahey has big plans for The Big Dog as the nine-year-old returns to Punchestown on Sunday looking for back-to-back successes in the Hollywoodbets Grand National Trial. A field of 13 runners go to post for Sunday’s €90,000 feature on what is a fascinating day of racing at the Kildare venue.
The Big Dog had a luckless trip to the Welsh National at Chepstow when he had to be pulled up after a blunder at the ninth fence saw Johnny Burke lose his irons and forced him to pull up but Fahey believes that The Big Dog has improved since his Punchestown success 12-months ago and is still eyeing a potential tilt at the most famous race of all, the English Grand National at Aintree.
“That was his first run in a handicap when he won this race last year and he’s come on since then,” Fahey said on Friday morning. “We haven’t had the rub of the green with him since; we were sitting for Chepstow but everything seems to be going right with him and he seems in good form. “I suppose the biggest plus from Chepstow was that it happened so early in the race and he came home a very fresh horse. He didn’t have a hard race.”
Elite amateur rider Jamie Codd renews his association with The Big Dog this weekend and gave Fahey the right vibes in midweek. “It was unfortunate what happened over in Chepstow but he’s come out of the race fine and he’s working away well. Jamie Codd sat up on him on Tuesday morning and was delighted with him. We’re looking forward to running him,” Fahey continued. “We always knew when we stepped him up into handicap company, where he’s better in a bigger field, it would be better for him. He was running around in beginner’s chases with small fields and running big races in them (including finishing a close third to subsequent Thyestes Chase and Troytown Chase winners Longhouse Poet and Run Wild Fred also at Punchestown) but we always knew he’s a better horse in a big field. “If he runs a big race, we’d be definitely considering going to Aintree. Hopefully we’ll get the rub of the green this time and put in the type of performance we think he’s capable of.”
The Hollywoodbets Grand National Trial is headed on ratings by the Gordon Elliott-trained Coko Beach who is one of four runners for the trainer. Floueur, Death Duty and Torygraph complete his team for the race, while Gavin Cromwell has two interesting contenders in Alfa Mix and Jimmil. Stones And Roses represents champion trainer Willie Mullins and Charles Byrnes has booked Liam Quinlan to take a 5lbs allowance off Doctor Duffy.
Elsewhere on Sunday’s card, Cheltenham Festival clues could be on offer in the Hollywoodbets Rated Novice Chase as the Willie Mullins-trained Ciel De Neige chases a hat-trick against the likes of Dancing On My Own, You Raised Me Up and Poseidon.
The INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle looks an intriguing contest with the highly touted Largy Debut bidding to bounce back from a disappointing outing at Leopardstown over Christmas. He’ll meet the Willie Mullins-trained Deploy The Getaway and the highly impressive course and distance winner Supreme Jet.
Racing on Sunday begins with the Hollywoodbets PP Hogan Cross Country Chase over Punchestown’s famous banks course and some old favourites like Call It Magic, Alpha Des Obeaux and Ballyboker Bridge will line up here.
Hollywoodbets is thrilled to enjoy the golden opportunity of reinvesting in the Irish racing community on the occasion of the purple brand’s 2nd birthday.
We are celebrating the milestone by promoting the Hollywoodbets Grand National Trial at Punchestown on Sunday 13 February. Hollywoodbets is offering a promotion aligned to the Hollywoodbets Grand National trial. Place a win bet with a minimum stake of £/€10 on the Hollywoodbets Grand National Trial at Punchestown and stand a chance to win a share of £/€10,000 if your selection wins and then goes on to win either the English or Irish Grand National.
Hollywoodbets’ Andrew Halligan said that this incentive is a massive boost for Irish Racing punters and creates a great hype over the period from 13th February to 18thApril.
“We are excited to get behind the Irish racing punters! Please look out for the Hollywoodbets activation team, who will be on course at Punchestown on Sunday” Halligan said.
Log onto www.hollywoodbets.ie for all your betting opportunities.
First Race: 1.40pm & seven races on the card.
Admission: €15 & €10 OAP’s/Student’s
Don’t Forget: Last Chance to SAVE 15% on Festival 2022 tickets, offer ends midnight Sunday 13 Feb. Book Here
True Colours Childrens Competition Kindly Sponsored by Irish Dog Foods
WINNER – Ailbhe Carew (age 7) from Rathmore National
This Punchestown will be a Festival of a different colour – what are your true colours?
Calling all junior jockeys! One of the coolest things about racing is the amazing colours that the jockeys wear.
This Punchestown Festival we would love for you to create your very own racing colours at home. This competition is strictly for primary school children only.
How To Enter?
- First up ask an adults permission to take part and help you get set up.
- Take an old school shirt, Dad or Mom shirt or t-shirt (always ask permission first).
- Create a design with paint, crayons, markers, fabrics, ribbons, glitter and/or whatever else looks cool.
- Allow to dry and take a picture of your True colours. You can model them, hang them or lay them flat for the picture.
- Please be aware that entries may be published on social media.
- Email a picture of your True Colours entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. With the name, age, school, area of residence and contact number for parent or guardian.
- Competition closes Sunday 25th April and the jockeys competing at the 2021 Punchestown Festival will decide the winner on Saturday 1st May 2021.
- €250 Smyths Toy voucher.
- Art and Hobby Hamper.
- Framed Winners Colours.
- A Pet Hamper for your Furry Friend.
We can’t wait to see what you come up with. On your marks, get-set, GO!
Osprey Hotel Continue Punchestown Festival Partnership and Entertainment Programme
With just eight weeks to go to the 2020 Punchestown Festival the racecourse team are excited to continue our association with official accommodation partner Osprey Hotel. Launched at the 2019 festival, the centre piece of the partnership, Osprey Avenue, is back for the 2020 event taking place from Tuesday 28th April to Saturday 2nd May. Osprey Avenue is a boutique shopping venue with a wonderful selection of fashion, art, millinery and accessories on offer across all five days of the event.
Further to the success of the partnership last year Osprey Hotel are pulling out all the stops and providing a fantastic week of hospitality and entertainment both in advance of and after racing each day at the four star venue located in Devoy Quarter, Naas. Back for 2020 is the very appetising Bottomless Bubbles Brunch hosted in the stylish Herald & Devoy restaurant. This package is priced at €32 per person and can be pre-booked with the hotel or via eventbrite. There will be two sittings at 11.30am and 1.30pm on Thursday, Friday & Saturday with a complimentary shuttle bus service to solve any transport queries.
On Tuesday through to Friday from 12.30pm they will have well known tipsters on hand to provide their expert opinions on all the weeks racing, Tuesday and Wednesday will see Katie Walsh and top jockey Robert ‘Puppy’ Power along with Boylesports Leon Blanche will be in Osprey Bar on Thursday and Friday.
Perhaps the highlight of Osprey Hotel’s action packed entertainment programme will take place on Friday 1st May when the Ultimate Festival Finale Party will entertain a full house of festival goers. Guest D.J’s and the ever popular Manilla Strings will entertain in the lobby while the ticket only Punchestown Party featuring the massively well known Springbreak, fresh from supporting Cher in Belfast will take place in the brand new Osprey ballroom.
The ballroom has recently underwent a massive refurbishment with an investment of €800k which will only add to the atmosphere.
Looking forward to an exciting festival week Osprey Sales and Marketing Manager Catherine Bunn said “We are so thrilled to be back with Osprey Avenue and a preferred sponsor with Punchestown again for 2020, it really was a no brainer on our part following the success of last year. Our on-course presence with Osprey Avenue together with pre and post racing entertainment means Osprey will be your one stop Festival venue. The fact we have just finished a refurbishment of our ballroom with an investment of €800K will really add to the finale night, if that’s even possible. Adding a well-known band such as Springbreak who have a fantastic following already to the mix is an added bonus. I hope everyone is ready for a fun packed few days of racing, music, delicious food and fun party atmosphere!”
Janet Creighton, Punchestown Commercial Manager welcomed Osprey Hotel “We look forward to welcoming around 130,000 visitors to Punchestown in just eight weeks time and whilst we can do our best to ensure they have a great day at the track it is our hotel partners that play an intrinsic role by providing top class hospitality before and after racing. Osprey Hotel is a wonderful venue located just minutes from Punchestown and their festival entertainment programme is packed to the brim. Having toured the Osprey Spa it is somewhere I will definitely be visiting for a treat after a hectic festival week!”
For full details of the Osprey Hotel Festival schedule please visit https://www.ospreyhotel.ie/events/punchestown-festival or call +353 (0)45 881111. The Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 28th April to Saturday 2nd May
The family run flagship Vista Primary Care medical facility joins sponsorship ranks at home of Irish jump racing
Monday 2nd March 2020 – With just eight weeks to go to the 2020 Punchestown Festival the home of Irish jump racing today welcomed Vista Primary Care to the sponsorship ranks at Ireland’s premier national hunt fixture. The €50,000 Vista Primary Care Steeplechase is the second race on the final day of the event, Saturday 2nd May.
The €25 million Vista Primary Care facility is the largest of its kind in Ireland and is owned and operated by the Roche Family. Considered a centre of excellence with a large range of consultants and anchor tenants including K-Doc, the HSE, Tusla and Affidea offering x-ray, MRI and radiology services. Vista is a one stop shop for all primary health care services for both private and public patients. The on-site Vista Pharmacy is unique in the sense that it is Ireland’s only pharmacy that offers a late night service until midnight 365 days of the year. Located just three kilometres from the racecourse the world class medical facility benefits from the hands-on management approach of the Roche Family. Ger Roche together with his wife Annette are at the helm whilst son Eoin is the facilities manager, daughter Eadaoin is key to the financial department, Claire is the onsite pharmacist whilst P.J. and Stephan are members of the catering team.
Celebrating 12 years in business this year Ger Roche, MD of The Roche Group reflected on the links between Vista and Punchestown “Both Vista and Punchestown share the common ground of community in Kildare. We welcome all ages and demographics with a wide and varied medical service available. Punchestown hosts the flagship sporting and social event in the region. We are businesses that are made by people for people. Well in excess of 200,000 visitors avail of Vista Primary Healthcare services each year. The sponsorship gives us the opportunity to create further awareness of what we are all about at Vista and we very much look forward to being part of the festival this year”.
Janet Creighton, Punchestown Commercial Partnerships Manager welcomed Vista primary Care to the sponsorship ranks “In around eight weeks time Punchestown will welcome over 125,000 people through the gates for a celebration of all that is great about Irish sport, entertainment and hospitality. Both the commercial and domestic community in Kildare are invaluable to the success of the festival and make up a bulk of clients and supporters. These same communities and people are catered for by a top class medical service whenever they should require it in Vista Primary Care. Better again it is a family run business. Vista is a flagship medical facility that we are proud to team up with for Punchestown 2020”.
The 2020 Punchestown festival takes place from Tuesday 28th April to Saturday 2nd May. Tickets and event information available at www.punchestown.com
Bollinger, sponsor of the Best Dressed Competition at the Punchestown Festival in April has announced a most exciting change of format to the high-profile event for 2020. The Bollinger Best Dressed Competition will not only include the most fashionable ladies from all across the country this year but also the most stylish gents will now compete for the much-coveted title and amazing prizes too!
The Punchestown Festival, the social and sporting highlight of the Irish calendar takes place from Tuesday 28th of April until Saturday, May 2nd. The search for the best dressed ladies and gentlemen will be held over the first four days of the festival. Each day style scouts will be tasked with finding the most stylish attendees and selecting finalists, from which a daily winner will be chosen to progress to the grand final on Ladies’ Day, held on Friday, May 2nd.
The decision to widen the format of the competition to include the thousands of men in attendance at the festival was an obvious one according to organisers. Michelle O’Sullivan, Champagne Bollinger said “It’s a very exciting year, with the highly anticipated release of the new Bond movie in April, which celebrates 25 years of James Bond. Bollinger’s association with the world’s most famous spy is synonymous and we felt it was an appropriate fit to celebrate this with a new improved format at Punchestown. Champagne Bollinger, distinctive, elegant and stylish – reminiscent of the famous special agent and the qualities that our judges will be looking for in this year’s Punchestown winner.”
Shona Dreaper, Punchestown Racecourse commented “When it comes to high profile sporting events Punchestown bucks the demographic trend with the number of ladies and gents in attendance pretty much equal and so it’s time for the guys to enter the style stage! It is a festival in the truest sense and race goers really enjoy the opportunity to dress for the occasion. As you stroll through the enclosures the sharp tailoring and attention to detail by the gents certainly merits strong contention for the coveted Bollinger Best Dressed Title. Afterall, Bollinger is the champagne of choice for the ultimate male style icon James Bond. It will be interesting to see how the judges handle it as there can only be one Bollinger Best Dressed Winner! One thing’s for certain, the judges will have their work cut out for them.”
The Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 28th of April to Saturday 2nd of May. The action-packed, fun-filled, style showcase attracts over 125,000 people to the Co. Kildare venue with packages ranging from high-end hospitality to great value admission only tickets available at www.punchestown.com or by calling +353 (0)45 897704. Prices start from as little as €30pp with concessions for groups, seniors and students. The famous Punchestown hospitality package range is available from just €129pp.
Punchestown racecourse today (21st January 2020) made the major announcement that Ballymore have returned as title sponsors of the final day of Ireland’s most prestigious jump racing festival.
The Ballymore Festival Family day will take place on Saturday 2nd May 2020 and concludes not only the Punchestown Festival but the Irish jump racing season itself. The €100,000 Grade 1 Ballymore Champion Four Year Old Hurdle is the centre piece of a top quality seven race card.
The Ballymore Festival Family Day has rapidly become one of the best attended fixtures on the Irish racing calendar attracting a massive crowd of 37,206 at the 2019 event. As the name suggests, the focus of the day is on community, introducing families to Punchestown and opening the world of horse racing to children. A full programme of activities, games and entertainment will be on offer for families with a dedicated indoor Junior Jockey Fun Club available throughout the day.
Ballymore co-founders Sean and Bernardine Mulryan have been long-time supporters of Punchestown. In fact, in 2008 when the Saturday was first integrated into the festival proper, Ballymore were an integral part of the initiative backing the title race of the day. Following a hiatus from horse racing, the award winning international property group returned to the sponsorship ranks in 2017 when sponsoring the valuable Ballymore Handicap Hurdle before taking the opportunity to back the family day concept. The Mulryan’s return to horse racing has been a fortuitous one and could hardly have gone better when their own horse City Island trained by Martin Brassil landed the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival.
Sean Mulryan, Ballymore Chairman & CEO looks forward to Ballymore Festival Family Day saying “The Punchestown Festival is a unique sporting experience and Punchestown itself is special for myself and my family. We have been involved for decades with Punchestown and the opportunity to return to sponsor the family day gives me great pride. I’m delighted to see it go from strength to strength.”
Conor O’Neill Punchestown CEO added “We always say that Punchestown is personal. That goes for the staff, customers, sponsors, locals and members of the racing industry. Everybody who visits Punchestown or does business here should feel like they are part of the place. We are so fortunate that Sean and Bernardine Mulryan share that view and have such special regard for Punchestown. They have been incredible supporters down the years through thick and thin. They are true racing and community people. The Ballymore Festival Family Day gives us the opportunity to introduce this unique event and venue to many families that may be new to the area but also to strengthen the sense of community for all those locals who have been enjoying Punchestown for years. To the Mulryans and Ballymore we say thank you”.
The 2020 Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 28th April to Saturday 2nd May and expects to attract crowds in excess of 125,000 over the five days. Billed as the highlight and grand finale of Irish jump racing the Punchestown Festival boasts 12 Grade one races and a prize fund of over €3.2 million attracting the best of Irish and British racing talent. The Punchestown Festival is a massive contributor to the local economy generating over €60 million. With 45 event sponsors, over 17,000 corporate hospitality guests and a huge influx of UK based racing fans Punchestown is a social, sporting and commercial flagship event on the Irish calendar each year.