Celebrations And Comebacks at The Punchestown Winter Festival


Stable Staff Appreciation Day 18th November

Friday, November 10, 2017
Faugheen Punchestown

Faugheen to make return in Unibet Morgiana Hurdle Photo: Alain Barr


Punchestown racecourse will host the annual Winter Festival next weekend, Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th November and this year promises to be extra special with an action packed two days instore. 

Whilst racing on the track will be top class there will be something for everyone at Punchestown with live music, dining packages, Huntman’s Challenge fund raiser, free family entertainment and the Up The Yard Stable Staff Challenge taking place. 

Looking forward to a relaunched Winter festival, Punchestown General Manager Dick O’Sullivan said “There is a fantastic buzz around ahead of the Winter Festival. We have concentrated on providing excellent racing action, free family entertainment and off track activities in the Up the Yard and Huntsman’s Challenge. The venue itself has had a new lease of life with most public facilities refurbished so customers of all ages can expect to spend a thoroughly enjoyable day in comfort and get great value while they are at Punchestown”.  

Saturday 18th November - Up The Yard Stable & Stud Staff Day 

Gates: 10.30  First Race: 11.50 approx

Family Entertainment from 11.30

Race & Dine Packages from €69pp from 12 noon (pre-book only)

Live music after racing

The Up The Yard challenges take place from before the first race and throughout the day

  • The competitive seven race card gets underway at approx 11.50 and features the Frontline Security Grabel Mares Listed Hurdle. The card concludes with a very special event, the inaugural Up The Yard Challenge Race. This race is the centre piece of the Up The Yard raceday where the stable and stud staff of Ireland will be celebrated. Riders taking part in the race must work in a racing stable or stud farm in Ireland and can’t have ridden under rules before. This is a chance for someone to realise a dream of competing on the track. Throughout the day, stable staff will take part in inter yard challenges in the parade ring and Sports Bar.
  • There will be free family entertainment as part of the Winter Festival play zone with games, crafts, face painting and even a Santa visit. This facility will be located close to the parade ring.
  • Both La Touche and The Panoramic Watch House Restaurants will be available to pre-book for a delicious four course lunch with guest tipster, cash bar and betting facilities. Packages are €69pp and €79pp respectively. Phone +353 (0)45 897704 for reservations.
  • Please visit the newly refurbished bars and cafes at the Punchestown Winter Festival where there will be live music available after racing.

Sunday 19th November - Unibet Morgiana Hurdle and Huntman’s Challenge Day

Gates: 10am  Huntsman's Challenge: 10.50 approx

First Race: 12 noon approx

Family Fun: 11am

Race & Dine €79pp with childrens options available from 12 noon 

  • Day two will get underway with the second running of the Berney Bros. Huntsman’s Challenge at 11am. This highly entertaining challenge race involves huntsmen and their horses from 18 different packs taking on each other and a section of the famous Punchestown banks course. It is the first of three legs in the Huntmans’s Team Challenge taking place that day as an Irish Injured Jockey fundraiser. The second leg, for high performance athletes only, is a sack race taking place in the parade ring!  The final part of the hunt competition is a most appropriately dressed contest.With a target of €10,000 for Irish Injured Jockeys all support is welcome and while an early start it is a very worthwhile cause. 
  • The feature over the Winter Festival is the Grade 1 Unibet Morgiana Hurdle on Sunday 19th. This is the comeback target for the mighty Faugheen last seen on the track in January 2016. Willie Mullins track record in this race is unsurpassed with wins from Nichols Canyon, Thousand Stars and the record breaking Hurricane Fly filling the winner’s spots for the last six consecutive years.
  • The Unibet Morgiana Hurdle is the feature race but the card also boasts the first cross country race of the Punchestown season, the grade 2 Ryans Cleaning Craddockstown Novice Chase and the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase. Quality throughout the eight race card.
  • The Panoramic Watch House Restaurant will be available for special Sunday lunch sitting. The all inclusive package is €79pp to include a delicious four course lunch, guest tipster, cash bar and betting facilities. Of course it is the amazing view from your table overlooking the finishing straight that will impress the most.
  • Free family fun continues in the Winter Festival Play Zone with face painting, crafts corner, games and a special visit from Santa.
  • The newly refurbished bars and cafes will be the ideal base for those who wish to enjoy the action in comfort. Live music will take place after racing.

For further information on the Punchestown Winter Festival please visit www.punchestown.com, follow us on Facebook or Twitter and the team at Punchestown would be delighted to chat through your Punchestown visit on +353 (0)45 897704

There is a fantastic buzz around ahead of the Winter Festival. We have concentrated on providing excellent racing action, free family entertainment and off track activities in the Up the Yard and Huntsman’s Challenge.  

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