Why not make the most of the February bank holiday weekend and do something different? Every year a massive crowd of almost 25,000 fans flock to Leopardstown to enjoy top-class racing, as well as live entertainment and delicious food. With eight Grade 1 races and over €2 million in prizemoney on offer, it’s an event not to be missed.
Day one of the Festival features the Grade 1 Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at 3.05pm. There is also plenty of entertainment throughout the day, with Six Nations Rugby matches on screens as well as live music in the marquee. Why not finish the day out singing as racegoers are set to enjoy music from Mundy who will perform on the Bulmer’s Live Stage after racing. Gates open at 11am, with the first race going to post at 1.20pm.
Day two includes four Grade 1 races, and the feature among these is the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle. It is a race with an illustrious history and roll of honour, featuring equine heroes such as Hatton’s Grace, Flyingbolt, L’Escargot, Dawn Run and Istabraq. In more recent years, Hurricane Fly dominated the race with five consecutive wins.
Henry de Bromhead became the first trainer to win the Chanelle Pharma Irish Champion Hurdle with three different horses when Honeysuckle, his star mare, enjoyed the first of her three Mundy will be among the human stars at the Dublin Racing Festival \ INPHO/ Morgan Treacy wins in the race. Gates open on Sunday at 11am with the first race going to post at 1.10pm.
There will be entertainment throughout the afternoon on Sunday, with music from the popular music group Spring Break providing 80s dance hits in the Festival marquee. Paddy Casey will also take to the Bulmers Live Stage after racing to close out what is sure to be another successful renewal of the Dublin Racing Festival. Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse, said: “We have the early entries for all 15 races at the Dublin Racing Festival and we are delighted with how it is all shaping up. It is heartening to see so many horses coming back to target races at Leopardstown, with representation from those who ran at previous Dublin Racing Festivals and those who competed at our bumper Christmas Festival only last month.
“The handicap races are a huge draw for traditional racegoers and those that come just to meet old friends again from home and Britain, and we can be hopeful that the bumper races which round off terrific cards on both days will produce stars of the future.”
Race and Stay
If you are looking for accommodation, Race and Stay packages have all you need for a great racing break. Hotel accommodation, breakfast, tickets and transport are all included, and you can add stable and stud tours and much more after you book. Browse the Race and Stays website for Dublin Racing Festival packages starting from only €139per person. Should you wish for hospitality options to enhance your day, the Dublin Bay Panoramic package is a crowd favourite.
With this you can enjoy stunning views of the racecourse with a three course gourmet buffet lunch, a viewing balcony to help soak up the incredible atmosphere, while you enjoy the comfort of your own reserved seat with bar service and Tote betting facilities on hand. Package includes admission
Check out leopardstown.com for more hospitality packages, tickets and more and visit the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) website for further racecourse information.
By Leo Powell