Punchestown Racecourse

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Welcome to our guide to Punchestown Racecourse.

Known as the Home of Irish Jumps Racing, Punchestown Racecourse is located in the parish of Eadestown, not far from Naas, County Kildare.

It plays host to the annual Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival and is one of the most popular, well attended and well-respected racecourses in the whole of Ireland. It also hosts flat racing in the summer months.

We look at this great racecourse in detail, looking at its history, a guide to the track, local hotel picks, racing fixtures, travel information, betting guides and even the weather.

If you are looking for the latest betting tips for Punchestown, check out our full guide to Punchestown Racecourse tips.

Find out more about Punchestown Racecourse:

Punchestown Racecourse

Overview of Punchestown Races

Punchestown Racecourse is a right-handed undulating track with both hurdles and steeplechase. Measuring one mile six furlongs in distance for hurdles, its chase course sits slightly longer at two miles.

Home to the only cross country banks course in the whole of the country, this course at Punchestown Racecourse is long and twisting over its obstacles; with some jumped more than once. The turns are both left- and right-handed and it can be considered challenging.

Punchestown Racecourse hosts 17 fixtures each year throughout the National Hunt season, each well attended and often fully sold out ahead of time.

The prestige and reputation of Punchestown mean that it attracts racegoers from not just all over Ireland but from throughout Europe.

As a result of its large crowds, Punchestown Racecourse has been at the receiving end of great investment and today boasts unbeatable hospitality and entertaining facilities throughout.

Punchestown has developed to be much more than just a racecourse and now hosts events year-round including music festivals, exhibitions and speciality occasions.

Punchestown Racecourse History

Punchestown Racecourse was founded in 1824 at its current location.

Reorganised and reconstituted as the Kildare and National Hunt Steeplechases organisation in 1861, its foundations were humble – just a single spectator attended the first day of its 1868 race meet!

Today, Punchestown Racecourse easily attracts over 130,000 to its annual festival and plays home to a variety of events and festivals each year. The course briefly closed through the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 but reopened as soon as it was able and racing has not paused since.

Punchestown Racecourse Map

Below are Punchestown racecourse maps.

Punchestown Flat Track

Below is a map of the Punchestown flat course:

Punchestown Racecourse Flat

One mile and 6 furlongs around the flat course is oval in shape. Two of the bends are tight, we an a long sweeping home bend from 6.5 furlongs out.

It is a fair and galloping track.

Punchestown Jumps Course

Below is a map of Punchestwon’s jumps track:

Punchestown Racecourse Map Jumps

One of the best jumps courses in the world, the chase course sits on the outer of two hurdle courses. The hurdles and fences are generally evenly spaced with a long run in after the last. It is a course frequented by the best in Irish jumping.

Main Races and Events at Punchestown

The undoubted crown jewel in the Punchestown Racecourse calendar is the five-day Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival, held each April to close the country’s National Hunt season. This meeting boasts twelve Grade 1 races – the most in one event across Ireland – highlighted traditionally by the Punchestown Gold Cup and the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.

The total prize pot of money for the Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival is almost €3 million and the festival attracts the best of trainers, jockeys and horses from the likes of Aintree Festival, Cheltenham Festival and Fairyhouse Festival for them to cross swords and finish the season on a real high.

Punchestown Racecourse Address

The address of Punchestown Racecourse is:

Punchestown Racecourse
County Kildare

How To Get To Punchestown Racecourse

The ways to get to Punchestown races are:

  • By road – set in the east of Ireland, just some 30km from Dublin, Punchestown Racecourse is located just south of Naas, the county town of County Kildare. Punchestown Racecourse’s location means its easily accessible by road. Traffic dependent, it should take less than an hour from Dublin, just over two hours from Belfast, two and a half hours from Cork and just under three hours from Galway. There is free parking at Punchestown Racecourse for up to 17,000 vehicles.
  • By rail – the nearest rail station to Punchestown Racecourse is Sallins and Naas, just a couple of kilometres north of Naas town centre. Sallins and Naas is serviced regularly by Irish Rail direct from Dublin Heuston and is about a fifteen-minute drive from the venue.
  • By bus – while there isn’t a regular direct bus from Naas to Punchestown Racecourse, there are several shuttle bus options from the town to the venue during the Punchestown Irish National Hunt Festival. There are also special event coaches during the festival from Dublin to the course.
  • By air – Dublin Airport, about an hour away, is the nearest destination for airline travel and is served by routes internationally. The Dublin Coach travels regularly from the airport to the town centre of Naas via a company called The Red Cow.

Hotels near Punchestown Racecourse

There isn’t a hotel on-site at Punchestown Racecourse but there are several options in Naas.

The two-star Harbour Hotel in Naas offers reasonably priced rooms with free breakfast and WiFi, but the amenities aren’t the most modern. Lawlor’s of Naas is a more cosmopolitan hotel and features floral arrangements throughout as well as a significant restaurant with a well-reputed Sunday roast on offer. Another two-star option is the Town House Hotel which is primarily an events venue but does have rooms available.

Nearby rural areas have a variety of Airbnb, holiday cottages, guesthouses and B&B choices for those looking to stay in the area.

Many racegoers at Punchestown Racecourse choose to travel in and out on the same day or to stay overnight in Dublin, the nearest and largest city in the country. As transport links between the capital and Punchestown are so accessible, this makes an easier option than is acceptable at most other horseracing venues.

Betting Shops Local to Punchestown Racecourse

Those wishing to have a flutter at Punchestown Racecourse can do so at the on-site Tote and betting facilities, or with independent bookmakers at trackside.

The mobile signal isn’t bad at the venue but can be affected by inclement weather, so you may need to connect to the venue’s WiFi to use your device for online betting.

The nearby town of Naas has plenty of betting shops for those wishing to place a bet and/or watch the events at Punchestown Racecourse without travelling to the course. These include two branches of Paddy Power, two branches of Ladbrokes racing, a branch of BoyleSports betting and a branch of Tully Bookmakers.

Best Punchestown Races Betting Sites

We often recommend betting online and via apps when going to the races. This is because you can often get the best odds, great offers when signing up and you can place bets quickly and safely.

If you are looking to bet online we recommend the following great deals and these online betting bookmakers. All of these made our list of the best new gambling sites.

Punchestown Racecard and Punchestown Tips

The racecards for the Punchestown races are released the day before the races take places, find out where to view racecards here – tomorrow’s racecards and today’s racecards. In these you will get an advance look at all the runners and riders, some people like to do this and select their horses before getting to the track.

You can also of course purchase a racecard from the track which carries much of the same useful information.

Other Events Held at Punchestown

Punchestown Racecourse hosts music events as well as horseracing and over the year this has included Oxegen Festival, AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Eminem, U2 and Simple Minds.

Music festivals and performances at Punchestown do tend to sell out quickly but tickets are usually available to purchase directly from the racecourse as well as through music ticket agencies.

Punchestown Races 2024

Here is the horse racing calendar for Punchestown Races in 2024:


Check out the full list of Horse Racing in Ireland 2024 fixture calendar.

Punchestown Weather

Check out the weather for Punchestown Racecourse:


Summary of Punchestown Races

Punchestown is one of the leading racecourses in Ireland.

Hosting both flat and jumps racing throughout the year it is one of our favourite courses with great facilities and high-quality racing, it delivers a great day out all the time.

A must-visit venue at any time of the year.