The Association of Irish Racecourses is delighted to feature Punchestown Racecourse as they announced details of the new look Punchestown Winter Festival that will take place on Saturday, November 25th and Sunday 26th.
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 1 double header stars the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on day one, Saturday, November 25th, and the John Durkan Memorial Chase settling into its new home on day two, Sunday, November 26th.
This year’s Durkan Chase is shaping up to be a blockbuster with a clash of Gold Cup heroes in store as the Willie Mullin strained Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Galopin Des Champs bids to reverse fortunes with Punchestown Gold Cup champion Fastorslow owned by Ballymore Eustace’s 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. While 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 open from 11.30am to 3pm both days offering games, Santa letter station, face painting, creative craft zone and more. Meanwhile, in the grandstand 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. Racegoers 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.
Shuttle bus service
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 1s 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 and Sunday, November 25th and 26th.”
The Association of Irish Racecourses sends their best wishes to Conor O’Neill and all the team at Punchestown Racecourse. For more information and tickets visit punchestown.com