Punchestown Racecourse today announced details of the new look Punchestown Winter Festival that will take place on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November.
The home of Irish jump racing will embrace the new later dates and roll out a festive feel across the weekend where, in addition to brilliant sport, there will be live music each evening, a special edition shopping village, FREE family fun and delicious seasonal additions to the food and beverage menus.
Central to the overhaul is the improved top class racing line-up with a prize fund of €500,000. A thrilling cross-weekend grade one double header stars the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on day one, Saturday 25th November and the John Durkan Memorial Chase settling into its new home on day two, Sunday 26th November.
This year’s Durkan Chase is shaping up to be a blockbuster with a clash of gold cup heroes in store as the Willie Mullins trained Cheltenham Gold cup victor Galopin Des Champs bids to reverse fortunes with Punchestown Gold Cup champion Fast Or Slow owned by Ballymore Eustace Mulryan family.
The Punchestown Winter Festival continues to focus on community and the next generation with a full weekend of free family entertainment, Irish made craft and fundraising. A family ticket costs just €25 for two adults and young children and includes access to The Playroom and activities. Whilst the stars of racing will be on show on the track, Santa the ultimate festive celebrity, will be meeting and greeting around the enclosures. The Playroom will be in open from 11.30am to 3pm both days offering games, Santa letter station, face painting, creative craft zone and more. Meanwhile, in the grand stand a special edition shopping village will create great atmosphere and Christmas shopping opportunities.
The Newbridge Branch of Guide Dogs Ireland and Kildare Down Syndrome will be fundraising across the weekend. Punchestown will be a drop off point for the county toy and gift appeal. Race goers that can afford to and would like to take part are encouraged to bring along new toys, clothes, tinned food or gift cards which they can drop off at the allocated collection point. All donations will go to the Naas Point centre who will distribute to local charities and families in need.
The timing of the big weekend has proved popular for social gatherings and special occasions. Those meeting friends to enjoy the great selection bars and live music will be happy to hear that a shuttle bus service to Naas will be available after racing each day. The Race & Dine package is almost fully booked for the Saturday with Sunday appealing to the family lunch market. Meanwhile those travelling from Dublin can avail of direct transfers with Marathon Travel from the quays.
Punchestown CEO Conor O’Neill is looking forward to the refreshed feature meeting “After the April festival this winter weekend is our next priority. We have really elevated the racing programme and to have two grade ones across the weekend is excellent. The dates will also make sense for many to kick off the festive season so we’ve ramped up the entertainment for all age groups. In line with our festival overhaul we continue to focus on value, catering for all ages and tastes whilst giving back to community and charity. There will be great sport, food, music, fun and games for all. As we always say People Make Punchestown and we look forward to welcoming friends old and new on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November.
Punchestown Winter Festival Quick Guide:
The Punchestown Winter Festival takes place Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th November.
- First race 11.40am. Last race 3.30/3.45.
- Live music after racing both days.
- Shuttle bus to Naas after racing. Pay as you go.
- Advance tickets are just €15 (€20 on the day).
- Families can purchase a €25 ticket on the day includes free entertainment.
- Seniors and Students pay €15 on the day.
- The Feedroom and Hay Café offering delicious seasonal dishes, snacks, tea/coffee and pastries open to all.
- For further information please visit www.punchestown.com or call 045 897704
Saturday 19 & Sunday 20 November featuring graded, cross country & listed racing
Live Music, Free childrens Play Room, Dining Packages, Bus Service
Advance Ticket Deals and Dining Packages
A sporting and social favourite, the Punchestown Winter Festival returns on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November with an action packed programme of brilliant racing, live music, family fun and unique dining experiences in store as the Punchestown team commit to deliver a quality experience for all ages at the right price.
At the centre of the double header comes top class racing and the Punchestown Winter Festival welcomes the stars of the game as they launch their season campaigns. Household names like Rachael Blackmore, Willie Mullins and champion jockey Paul Townend will set out their stalls in the first grade one hurdle of the season. The prestigious Unibet Morgiana Hurdle takes centre stage on Sunday 20th November and is a wonderful opportunity to see champion hurdle contenders in the flesh. The supporting card more than holds its own with spectator favourites like the Risk Of Thunder Cross Country race and grade two Florida Pearl Chase on offer. Day one, Saturday 19th November, is full of potential thrillers as we kick off with two chases over the famous Punchestown fences before enjoying two graded hurdles and more.
Off the turf and in the enclosures visitors can enjoy entertainment for all ages and levels of horse racing knowledge or experience. There will be live music in the grandstand after racing each day with a wide selection of bars including the Open Gate, Loft and Archive bars all providing excellent viewing, seating and access for your comfort. Enjoy all that a race day has to offer with the peace of mind that there will be a bus transfer service into Naas after racing each day.
Punchestown is a family friendly venue and with free parking, free admission to all under 14 years, ample buggy friendly hardcore space and child friendly dining options. Junior racegoers and families will be pleased to hear that The Playroom is back in action. This complimentary indoor facility is located next to the horse walk where a selection of games, chill out movie corner, face painting and activities will keep the younger race goers entertained during weekend race days this winter.
For families who may have outgrown the face painting stage, the ever-popular Race & Dine package is a wonderful way to elevate quality time or celebrate a special occasion. Enjoy all that is so special about an afternoon at the races from an amazing vantage point overlooking the beautiful Punchestown setting. With the ‘race’ aspect delivered, the excellent Kildare based Lily and Wild team will prepare and serve a selection of delicious seasonal dishes as part of the three course ‘dine’ element. Reserved table, guest tipster, bar, betting and full access to enclosure services like parade ring and bookmakers ring are all part of the package.
Conor O’Neill Punchestown CEO shares the teams focus to provide value to racegoers: “Running a business and a household means that I am acutely aware of just how expensive life has become! When choosing how to spend your hard-earned money you want to get value and a quality day out for you and your family or pals. We get that. We all do the same. With this in mind we have discounts and free race cards for those who book in advance, children under 14 always race for free at Punchestown and can enjoy free games and entertainment. We have worked hard with our catering and beverage partners to deliver quality and variety at the best price point that we can. An afternoon at the races with up close access to world class stars of sport offers hours of entertainment and certainly represents good value by comparison to many other options. On behalf of the team I’d like to say that we look forward to seeing visitors of all ages enjoy Punchestown this winter as People make Punchestown”.
So the message from Punchestown is to dress up or wrap up but certainly round up the gang and come racing this winter at this special place on your doorstep in the heart of Kildare.
Punchestown Winter Festival Quick Guide:
When: Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th November 2022
Time: First race/last race 12.30 & 4pm Saturday. 11.45 & 3.50pm Sunday.
Tickets: €15pp in advance includes free racecard on arrival. €20 on the day. Seniors and students can purchase for €15 on the day. Children under 14 years FREE. Visit www.punchestown.com
Make Your Day: Live music and bus service into Naas after racing both days.
Pre-booked Dining: Race & Dine packages in restaurant or private suite from €52pp.
Casual Dining – Hay Café and The Feedroom for carvery lunches, light snacks, pastries and barista coffee.
The Playroom – Free indoor child friendly room with games, activities, movie corner, face painting etc. This is not a crèche facility and a parent or guardian must supervise children please.
More: For the best info follow us on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. Get the best deals when you sign up to our newsletter. Visit www.punchetsown.com or call the team who are happy to help.