Jump start the festive season and gallop down to enjoy the new look Punchestown Winter Festival! 

Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November. Free Family Fun * Gold Cup Heros * Live Music * Festive Shops & Menus

by Rose Barrett
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Punchestown Winter Festival!

Punchestown Racecourse just 40 minutes down the road from Dublin announced details of the new look Punchestown Winter Festival to take place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 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 €500k! A thrilling cross-weekend grade one double header stars the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on day one, Saturday 25 November and the John Durkan Memorial Chase settling into its new home on day two, Sunday 26 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 couple, Bernadine and Sean Mulryan.

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-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 timing of the big weekend has proved popular for social gatherings and special occasions. Punches town has always been popular with the Dubs and many ex Kildare folk now living in the capitals busy suburbs.

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 25 and Sunday 26 November.”

Punchestown Winter Festival Quick Guide:

  • First race 11.40am. Last race 3.30/3.45. 
  • Live music after racing both days
  • Advance tickets are just €15 (€20 on the day). 
  • Families can purchase a €25 ticket on the day includes free entertainment. Students and OAPs € 15

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