Punchestown Festival

Punchestown Festival

The Punchestown Festival is the highlight of the Irish Racing Calendar and is held at the end of the National Hunt Season in April of each year. The Festival is held at the home of Irish National Hunt Racing at the Punchestown Racecourse which is located in the parish of Eadestown, near Naas in County Kildare. The Festival is held over five days and is known as the Irish Cheltenham Festival due to the format of each of the days as well as the quality of the competition.

Featured Races

The first of the featured races is the Kerrygold Champion Chase which traditionally opens the Punchestown Festival. The Kerrygold Champion Chase is Grade 1 listed and is a steeplechase held over 2 miles and normally attracts some of the top horses and trainers from across the UK and Ireland. On the second day of the festival the Guinness Gold Cup takes place and this race carries the biggest prize fund of the entire festival at 250,000 euros. Past winners of the Guinness Gold Cup include War of Attrition, Kicking King and Imperial Call all of whom are also Cheltenham Gold Cup winners which highlights the standard of this race.

The Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle is the Grade 1 feature race traditionally held on the Thursday of the Festival. The Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle will have a prize fund of 200,000 Euros in 2009 and was formerly known as the Champion Stayers' Hurdle. The ACC Bank Champion Hurdle is held on Ladies Day at the Punchestown Festival which will be the Friday of each festival. The ACC Bank Champion Hurdle is run over a 2 mile distance and is also a Grade 1 Listed Race.

Feature Races of Punchestown Festival


  Day Distance Grade 2008 Winner
Kerrygold Champion Chase Tuesday 2 Miles Group 1 Twist Magic
Guinness Gold Cup Wednesday 3 miles 1 furlong Group 1 Neptune Collonges
Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle Thursday 3 miles Group 1 Blazing Bailey
ACC Bank Champion Hurdle Friday 2 miles Group 1  Punjabi