Punchestown Racecourse is most famous for its five days of exhilarating National Hunt action which takes place at the end of May every year as the jumps season reaches a crescendo. The festival is rich in quality and the highlight is undoubtedly the Punchestown Gold Cup. National Hunt legends, including Moscow Flyer, Hurricane Fly and Honeysuckle have all enjoyed success at the Punchestown Festival.
Home to jumps racing only, the chase course is right-handed and noticeably undulating. The course consists of fair fences and horse and rider face a slight uphill finish. The hurdle course is more testing in terms of undulations and sharp bends which suits horses who race handily.
Punchestown has a long tradition of horse racing dating back to 1824 and it was the owners of the land, the Kildare Hunt Club, who began to oversee operations in 1850. Plans to build a grandstand came to fruition prior to the inaugural two-day meeting in 1854.
Crowds have long been bountiful at Punchestown and even since the 1860s, crowds in excess of 40,000 have attended the popular track, including a royal visit from the Prince of Wales, after whom the year?s showpiece was named. The Kildare Hunt Cup, the Corinthian Cup, Conyngham Cup, the farmers race and the National Hunt Steeplechase worth 300 pounds were among other notable events during this era.
Punchestown Racecourse boasts modern facilities following a #9m re-development in 1998 and remains one of Ireland?s top venues for star-studded racing and an atmospheric day out.
More information about the Punchestown Festival