Fancy a flutter at the races over the festive season or maybe you’ve a few tips for the races? If so, don’t miss out on the Leapardstown Christmas Racing Festival 2008. This 4 day event runs from Saint Stephen’s Day, December 26th, to December 29th and is the highlight of the National Hunt Season.
The venue is Leopardstown Racecourse. Built 120 years ago in 1888, Leopardstown Racecourse is probably the country’s most famous race track. It’s located just 6 miles from Dublin city centre and is surrounded by the stunning Dublin Mountains.
Racing at the venue is always a huge crowd pleaser and you’re guaranteed a great day out, not just viewing the excellent quality of racing thoroughbreds on display, but with the top class facilities on offer at the impressive stadium as well.
Leopardstown Racecourse hosts over twenty major race meetings throughout the year, including the most popular of them all, the 4 day Christmas National Hunt Festival, plus the Irish Champion Stakes. Not only will you get the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of the race, placing bets and a great days sporting action, but you can also ”dress up to the 9′s” if you don’t mind bracing yourself for the winter cold.
For the past few years, Christmas in Dublin has been quite mild and the organisers are hopeful that this will be the case again this year, with crisp, dry weather conditions.
In addition, Leopardstown offers not only fantastic entertainment at the races, but affords time for relaxation and camaraderie at the large range of bars (Club 92 and Madigans) and restuarants (Silken Glider Restaurant, Fillies Café Bar and the Paddock Food Hall).
Other facilities at Leopardstown include a modern conference centre with over 20 private and exclusive suites, plus various hospitality rooms if you wish to organise a corporate event! The impressive Leopardstown Pavillion caters for larger groups for corporate events.
This Year’s Festival…
The 2008 National Hunt takes place over four days at Leopardstown, and is a great way to get out in the cool winter air and enjoy the excitement, and maybe place a bet or two!
In the past, some of the finest Irish riders including Pat Taafe and Pat Eddery have raced at the event. And many icons of Irish horse racing such as Arkle, Dawn Run and current crowd favourites Florida Pearl, and Istabraq have taken to the track and wowed the crowds.
The Christmas Festival kicks off on St Stephens Day 2008 and the following are the dates of the race meetings:
Friday December 26th – The Durkan New Homes Novice Chase
Saturday December 27th – The Paddy Power Chase
Sunday December 28th – The Lexus Chase
Sponsored by Lexus Ireland, The Lexus Chase is the highlight of the weekend, and certainly the most lucrative. It has had an impressive honour roll of previous champions including Best Mate (2004), Beef or Salmon (2005) and the Listener (2006).
The 2007 winner was Denman, who romped home in the race in great form and later took the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March 2008. Denman, with champion jockey Ruby Walsh, was born and bred in Fermoy County Cork by Colman O’Flynn.
The prize money for the winner is reckoned to be a minimum prize value of €200,000. Interest in this race is huge, and nearly 20,000 are expected to attend. You may well bump into some well known Irish celebrities as well as plenty of sports personalities.
Monday December 29th – The bewleyshotels.com December Festival Hurdle
Find out more about the Leopardstown Christmas Racing Festival.
How to get to Leopardstown…
If you’re travelling by car, there are two entrances to the racecourse on a race meeting day. The first one is on Leopardstown Road, and the second one at Carrickmines, with the entrance off the M50 at junction 15.
From Dublin city, take the M11 southbound and the Wexford Road, through Stillorgan. The next route you need to get onto is the Leopardstown Road, the R113.
If you’re travelling from Belfast, Dublin Airport, Limerick, Cork or Galway, you will be coming from the major roads the M1, N2, N3, M4 and the N7. You must get onto the M50 southbound and leave at junction 15 and follow the signposts for Leopardstown.
You can also take the Luas from St Stephens Green to Sandyford/Brewery Road Station. It’s about a 20-minute journey. The Leopardstown Racecourse is only a short walk from here and on race days there will be a number of complimentary buses.
Busaras also provide a bus service to the racecourse on race days. Check out the Bus Eireann website for more information.
Now its time to get studying the form book guide! If you’re heading to the Leopardstown Races, and are looking for a place to stay, why not choose on of our hotels in Dublin.
If you have anything you’d like to add or any questions, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line and we’ll get back to you.