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Dublin Live
Dublin Live
Kim O'Leary

Punchestown Festival 2023: Race times, betting odds, and everything you need to know

The Punchestown Festival 2023 will begin tomorrow - and it promises a thrilling five days of world class horse racing action.

Organisers for the hugely popular racing event are preparing for 110,000 people to flock to Naas, Co Kildare for the five-day event that attracts visitors from across Ireland, the UK and further abroad. This year's festival will feature Irish racing talent including Rachael Blackmore, Willie Mullins, Henry de Bromhead and more.

Here's everything you need to know about the iconic racing festival included the latest odds from the bookies, how to get there, and what other activities will be taking place throughout the five day event.

Read more: Thousands raised for family of Dublin footballer and soldier following death

What's on this year?

The 2023 Punchestown Festival takes place from Tuesday 25 April to Saturday 29 April. A programme of 40 races and a prize fund of over €3.3 million attracts the best of Irish and British racing talent.

The entries for the flagship races feature equine superstars including major festival players Galopin Des Champs, Energumene, Bravemansgame and Envoi Allen, who are all backed heavily by Irish bookies. The festival will open from 1pm for members of the public on Tuesday 25 April, and the first race will begin at 3:40pm and the last race is at 7:$0pm.

There's plenty of activities to see and do besides watching the races, as there will be food, live music, street theatre and DJ sets running throughout the week. Also, one of the highlights of the annual festival is the Bollinger Best Dressed competition is one of Ireland’s most prestigious style challenges with finalists chosen across the first four days progressing to the final on ladies day, Friday 28 April.

How to get to Punchestown

There are several ways to reach Punchestown. According to the official Punchestown 2023 website, for those driving in cars, Gardai will have a traffic plan in place during the five day event.

There's also a dedicated Punchestown coach service which is direct from Dublin City Centre and travel time in normal traffic is 1 hour. The bus will depart from Georges Quay at 12 noon and 1pm each day of the festival, and the buses return each evening to the drop off location and the buses leave around 30 minutes after the final race each day.

The Bus fares start at €30 return when booked online and a €40 return each day on a walk-up basis. There's also a handy Naas shuttle bus which leaves at 12:30PM at Poplar Square in Naas to the festival.

If you're thinking about travelling by train, there are several services starting from Heuston Station right up to Sallins Station. Meanwhile, taxis can drop and collect fares directly at the main entrance and/or drop off point at Punchestown.

Latest odds as Ladbrokes say 'Mullins Mania' is gripping the nation

Willie Mullins is expected to dominate the week once more, as bookies Ladbrokes say he is the man they fear most. Willie Mullins and Paul Townend are expected to give punters the dream start to the week, with Facile Vega and Energumene among the favourites.

Meanwhile, Ladbrokes is also taking bets on whether snow will descend upon the popular racing festival and Ladrbrokes make it that there's a 8/1 chance of snow on the first day tomorrow. There's also odds of 4/6 for rainfall on all days of the five day festival.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is a 5/1 that the racecourse records the highest temperature of the year this week thanks to an early summer blast. Nicola McGeady of Ladbrokes said: "Come rain, hail, or shine, nothing will dampen punters’ spirits ahead of The Punchestown Festival.

"It is the highlight of the Irish racing calendar and we expect to be kept very busy this week. Although whether we are smiling by the end of the week remains to be seen. Willie Mullins holds all the aces this week, and it could prove to be a very costly week for us bookies!"

Punchestown Race times for Tuesday 25 April:

3:40pm Howden Insurance Brokers Mares Novice Hurdle (Listed)

4:15pm Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle (Grade 1)

4:50pm: Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle (Grade B)

5:25pm William Hill Champion Chase (Grade 1)

5:55pm Goffs Defender Bumper

6:30pm Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Chase (Grade 1)

7:00pm Kildare Hunt Club Cross Country Chase

7:35pm Oak Lodge Landscapes Flat Race of €15,000

For more information and the latest race news visit


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