Who attends the Punchestown Festival? The good news is whilst you don’t need to have any racing knowledge you do need to know how to enjoy yourself! Punchestown people are a pretty diverse crowd. Racing fans, fashion followers, groups of pals, corporate players, locals and those who travel from afar make up the 130,000 annual attendance.
Racing Need To Know: The five day Punchestown Festival is a pretty big deal on the sporting calendar. It is the grand finale of the jump racing season and attracts the best horses, trainers and jockeys from both sides of the Irish Sea. With a massive prize fund of over €3.2 million, 12 Grade 1 contests and a total of 36 races festival goers are guaranteed a feast of rematches, epic battles and thrilling finishes.
All about Timing: Gates open at 12 each day. Hospitality guests are expected for lunch at 1pm. All facilities including over 12 bars, four snack bars, coffee docks, food concessions and the Street Shopping are available from 12.30. First race at 3.40pm (2.30pm on Saturday), last race 7.15pm (Tues/Weds) 7.45pm (Thurs/Fri) and 6.45pm (Sat). bars close around 9.30pm.
TUESDAY 30 APRIL BOYLESPORTS CHAMPION CHASE DAY
The opening day of the festival is one for the real racing fans with three brilliant grade 1 contests featuring the Boylesports Champion Chase. Festivities get underway throughout the enclosures with live music, great food and wonderful style.
WEDNESDAY 1 MAY CORAL PUNCHESTOWN GOLD CUP
The jewel in the crown of the entire event and probably the Irish jump racing calendar. The Coral Punchestown Gold Cup takes centre stage on day two. Live music, fashion and the brilliant atmosphere spills out from bars and venues throughout the enclosures.
THURSDAY 2 MAY LADBROKES CHAMPION STAYERS HURDLE DAY
Stamina is the name of the game on day three with runners and riders lining up for the Ladbrokes centrepiece. The famous and historic La Touche cross country race never fails to deliver a thrilling finish despite the challenges of the four mile test. The original racecourse sale is hosted by Goffs in the winners enclosure after racing.
FRIDAY 3 MAY BETDAQ CHAMPION HURDLE DAY
The penultimate day of the Festival is considered by many to be the social highlight of the event. On the track current, past and potential champion hurdlers meet in the BETDAQ feature whilst the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady is unveiled on the main stage.
SATURDAY 4 MAY AES FESTIVAL FAMILY DAY
Festival Saturday is the ultimate wrap party for the Irish jump racing season. Festival goers of all ages travel from every corner of Ireland and beyond to celebrate the achievements of Irish jump racing. The racing fans of tomorrow are entertained in the Junior Jockey Club Fun Zone whilst the season champions are crowned in the winners enclosure.
General Admission from €30pp
This ticket allows access to the general enclosure, parade ring, grandstand, public food outlets, The Street shopping area and plenty of bars.
Upgrades can be purchased on the day for €10pp should you wish to access the reserved enclosure (subject to availability).
Reserved Enclosure from €40pp
Enjoy all the general admission ticket facilities and then some! The Reserved enclosure is the social hub of the festival and the home of the new Hunt Stand, famous Sky Bar, the Bollinger Lounge as well as numerous food outlets. Festival goers can get very close to the racing action on our viewing lawns and then dance the evening away with Dj’s and Live music. Early booking is advised for Festival Friday.
Party Packs (Group Deal) from €30pp
The Party Pack is the ideal solution for social groups, hens, stags, family occasions and work outings. This all-inclusive pack gives you all you need to get your festival off to a great start and offers savings of up to €14pp. From just €30pp each person receives admission, official racecard, €5 match bet and a €5 beverage voucher. For groups of 10 people or more.
Flexi Ticket from €40pp
As the name suggests the Flexi ticket is flexible and allows the holder to attend on any one of the five days. This is ideal if you are purchasing as a gift.
Senior and Students from €20pp
All ages are welcome at Punchestown and we offer a €10 concession on standard ticket prices to seniors and students. These tickets can only be purchased on the day with official form of I.D.
Teen Scene from €17pp
All children under 14 years of age race for free at Punchestown. For young people aged 15, 16 and 17 we have a specially designated Teen Scene turnstile. Please note that the Ireland Agecard is the official form of proof of age at Punchestown.
Dining Packages from €129pp
All hospitality options include admission as part of the package.
Life Can Be Perfect according to Bollinger, the sponsor of the Punchestown Best Dressed Lady competition.
Regarded as one of the most prestigious style awards on the Irish social calendar, the Bollinger Best Dressed Lady competition takes place from Tuesday through to the grand final on festival Friday.
Full details will be announced in advance of the event.
Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates.
The AES Family Day takes place on the final day of the festival and is a pleasure! Local families visit the racecourse and enjoy the complimentary children’s activities in the designated Junior Jockey Fun Club area. A huge 60,000 square foot venue is filled with bouncy castles, games, face painting, arts and crafts, interactive shows and coffee docks for the parents!
The emphasis of the day is on the future generations, their introduction to Punchestown and very importantly, awareness of the environment through kind sponsorship from AES.
All children under 14 years of age race for free at Punchestown.
From Dublin Airport – 48kms (30 miles) M1, M50, N7, R410
From Dublin City – 35km (22miles) N7, R410
From Cork – 2hrs, 40 mins, N8, N7 R410
From Galway – 2hrs, 50mins M6, M4, M50, N7, R410
From Belfast – 2hrs, 20mins, M1, M50, N7, R410
Marathon Coaches have been operating festival buses from Aston Quay in Dublin for over 10years. The service is direct from Dublin City centre and travel time in normal traffic is 1 hour. The return bus ticket can be purchased from €20 online up to 9am on each day of the races. Walk up fares are available on the day with a cost of €25 return. Buses return each evening from the pick up point at the races after the last race and depart when the buses are full.
For more information please see the Marathon Travel FAQ section on their webpage.
There will be shuttle buses ran before racing from Poplar Square in Naas Town Centre and returning back to Naas after the last race. This is purely a walk-up service and can be purchased fo €5 per trip on the day. There will also be a shuttle running from Sallins train station into Naas free of charge on each day of the festival.
The Dublin Coach travels from Dublin airport via the Red Cow directly into Naas for just €5 single/€10 return.
Taxis can drop and collect fares directly at the main entrance. Taxi from Dublin city centre or international airport could cost from €50 – €80.
Irish Rail operate a service from Dublin’s Heuston Station to Sallins (just outside Naas). During the festival there will be a shuttle bus service in operation which will transfer passengers to Poplar Square in Naas for free. From there the raceday bus will collect (from €5) or a taxi direct to the track should be around €10 – €15.
Visit www.ryanair.com our official airline partners fly from 16 different locations throughout the UK. Please check bus/coach and rail sections for transfer details.