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Christmas gifts for the racing fan

As Christmas is fast approaching, and the festive season is well and truly underway, the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) is taking the opportunity to highlight some wonderful gift ideas from its members’ racecourses, and share some dates for upcoming race meetings in this week’s column.

Christmas racing has always been a firm favourite for many, offering an opportunity to catch up with loved ones and friends in a social and sporting environment. This December there are quite a few race days to choose from across the country.

Starting with last week’s featured racecourse Fairyhouse and their Winter Festival this weekend, it is quickly followed by midweek meetings at Tramore on Tuesday 6th, Dundalk on Wednesday 7th and Friday 9th, with Clonmel on Thursday 8th in between the two all-weather fixtures. Check out the full list of December dates below.

  • Sat 3rd Fairyhouse
  • Sun 4th Fairyhouse
  • Tue 6th Tramore
  • Wed 7th Dundalk
  • Thu 8th Clonmel
  • Fri 9th Dundalk
  • Sat 10th Navan
  • Sun 11th Cork
  • Sun 11th Punchestown
  • Wed 14th Dundalk
  • Thu 15th Naas
  • Fri 16th Dundalk
  • Sat 17th Fairyhouse
  • Sun 18th Navan
  • Sun 18th Thurles
  • Wed 21st Dundalk
  • Mon 26th Down Royal
  • Mon 26th Leopardstown
  • Mon 26th Limerick
  • Tue 27th Leopardstown
  • Tue 27th Limerick
  • Wed 28th Leopardstown
  • Wed 28th Limerick
  • Thu 29th Leopardstown
  • Thu 29th Limerick
  • Sat 31st Punchestow

Gift of racing
Each racecourse has its own selection of gift ideas for the avid racegoer or horse racing enthusiast. Vouchers for tickets or open tickets that are flexible to allow a choice of dates are the obvious gifts for a racing fan at their local track, saving them the admission fees for their next visit or two.

Perhaps a nice idea would be to look at the various ticket options available at racecourses and upgrade their usual general admission ticket to a package deal, reserved access option or to include lunch or dinner if it’s available at their favourite racecourse.

More and more racecourses are designing and selling branded gifts and apparel. From baseball caps and snoods to gilets and jackets, check out their websites and see what’s on offer at each course.

Racecourse, annual or club memberships are an excellent gift idea. The names may vary from track to track, but the concept differs little up and down the country. Most racecourses offer a package which includes admission to all race meetings at the track in 2023, along with added value such as racecards, reciprocal days at other tracks and exclusive member access areas.

‘Race and Stay’ packages are offered by numerous hospitality providers all around the country. Why not design your very own perfect racing getaway by combining some of these packages with other interesting excursions and activities available in the area? There are so many great deals available in all four provinces. Make this year’s gift the racing staycation your friend or family member has been waiting for.

Finally, for your high-end gift requirements, a race sponsorship at the recipient’s favourite track would be the ultimate gift this Christmas. Again, packages vary at racecourse, and availability and budget play a part, but typical sponsorship packages include naming rights on the race, racecard advertising or a feature on the individual, tickets, parade ring access to meet the stars, presentation to the winning connections of the race, photographs and so much more. It is an experience
like no other for a real racing fan.

AIR hopes that you will support Irish racecourses this Christmas and in 2023, and that this feature has inspired that perfect gift idea for someone you care for and who loves going racing. For further information and to find links to all racecourses visit

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