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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Vincent Whelan

We went to the Leopardstown Student Race Day and here's what we found

MirrorSport went along to the SPIN 1038 Student Race Day at Leopardstown this afternoon to get a flavour for what a ticket gets you.

Each ticket cost €25 and given that this was the first Student Race Day here since 2019, they were in hot demand.

Doors opened at 1 pm and unfortunately so did the heavens but that proved to be just a brief shower as punters were generally blessed with a sunny day.

As you walked in the entrance you were greeted by a giant marquee which boasted a DJ booth with tunes blaring out all afternoon.

In addition, this was also the first of many places around the course where you could buy a drink.

Pints of Bulmers, 5 Lamps and Budweiser were offered at €6 apiece while it was the same price for a glass of Prosecco or House Wine.

Just outside the marquee there were plenty of tables for groups to take a seat in between the eight races as they overlooked the beauty of the winner's enclosure.

When race time arrived, you could then stroll in by the packed track at ground level or climb up the stairs and take a higher vantage point as you roared your bet home.

Revellers made the most of the day as there was a buoyant atmosphere throughout the course and they particularly added to the event as they really brought the style.

There were many a Peaky Blinders-style cap on display among the men while the women stepped out in glamorous dresses and heels.

On this point, one lucky guy and lady were chosen as the day's Best Dressed with both of them awarded €500.

Racegoers cheer on during a race (©INPHO/Tom Maher)

I spoke to racecourse chief executive Tim Husbands about what it meant to him and his staff to be able to welcome students back to the course after the pandemic cancelled the two previous editions.

He said: "It's been a super day. We're in the middle of the week so it's great to see nearly 8000 students here.

"For a lot of them it's their first experience of a race meeting because remember we haven't had a student race day for the last three years so these are all new people.

"And for us it's really important that they have a great day on the day but also secondly because they are our future race-going crowd so we want them to enjoy the sunshine, horses, races etc and give them great memories."

In terms of the more basic facilities there were ample toilets around between portaloos installed for the occasion as well as bathrooms in each building around the course.

You also had a host of food options as well as drinking ones between pop-up vans that offer burgers and nachos.

Emma McElvaney with her friends ahead of the races (©INPHO/Tom Maher)

And if you were in the humour for something a bit more fancy, The Paddock restaurant offered a carvery so you couldn't go wrong.

It's worth noting that in most of the bars they operated on a card only basis but that helped to lessen wait times as everyone looked to be getting served promptly.

There was a cloak room if you wanted to just rock the waistcoat and here is where you'd also find a phone charging unit.

Racegoers get caught up in the rain ahead of the races (©INPHO/Tom Maher)

Aside from the DJ booth in the marquee on the way in there was also live music in the form of a singer equipped with his guitar outside The Hurricane Bar.

At one point he received boisterous backing support from punters as he belted out the Oasis classic Champagne Supernova which also added to the general good vibes around the south Dublin location.

Lastly, an unexpected feature for punters to enjoy came in the form of a 360 photo booth, courtesy of another sponsor in student accommodation Aparto.

Overall one can easily see why these race days are such a treasured day out for students and it was really uplifting to see them back in action.

Aided by a very warm and hospitable staff around the course, it proved well worth the price of admission and more.

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