Punchestown Festival 2019 Betting
The Punchestown Festival is a five-day celebration of Irish National Hunt racing at it’s very finest and brings the curtain down on the Irish Jumps Racing season each year with almost a race-for-race repeat of the Cheltenham Festival which will have taken place around one month earlier in England.
This huge social event for patrons and punters is set in the heart of Kildare, an Irish racing homeland that provides the final chance for past and present champions to confirm themselves at the top of their respective racing divisions. It’s clearly a spectacle not to be missed and is one of the key horse racing betting events of the calendar year.
With €3.2m in prize money to be won, 12 Grade 1 contests down for decision and the added bonus of later than usual start times, there is no doubt that Punchestown is one of the Racing Calendar highlights for any horse racing fan and the avid horse racing punter.
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Punchestown Betting Markets
Betting at the Punchestown Festival is frenetic over all of its 39 races spread across five wonderful days of top-class racing. With 11 more races than the famous Cheltenham Festival, and spread perfectly over an extra day than the March showpiece, it truly is a unique occasion for local trainers and jockeys to be a part of. Likewise, the same duly applies to those brave enough from the UK and France to venture over and tackle their foes on Irish home soil.
That makes for competitive betting heats each and every day and with races like the famous Punchestown Gold Cup, the Champion Novice Hurdle, the Champion Chase, the Stayers Hurdle and the Racing Post Champion Bumper. It’s easy to see why Punchestown is only usually eclipsed by the Cheltenham Festival itself in terms of National Hunt Racing betting activity, with all of the best horse racing betting sites offering odds on each race.
Punchestown Ante-Post Betting
Markets for the key Punchestown Festival races will open with bookmakers usually in the immediate aftermath of the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals. Many of the best horses will run at all three of these events - with some top horses landing the coveted double or treble - so the best bookmakers out there will wait to know the results of these events before pricing up the same horses to take the spoils at the Punchestown equivalent. Consider this when drawing up your horse racing betting strategy.
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the Punchestown Festival 2019?
The Punchestown Festival this year will take place over five days between Tuesday 30th April, 2019 and Saturday 4th May, 2019 at Punchestown Racecourse in Co Kildare, Ireland.
What time does the Punchestown Festival start?
Races at the Punchestown Festival start at 3.40pm each day apart from the final day of the event when the first race goes to post at 2.35pm.
The last race each day varies, with Tuesday finishing up at 7.15pm, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 7.45pm and Saturday closes with the final race of the week at 6.40pm.
When does Punchestown finish?
The final day of this years Punchestown Festival is Saturday the 4th May, 2019.
Punchestown Festival 2019 Grade 1 Races Schedule
Tuesday 30th April - Champion Chase Day
- 4.20pm Grade 1 Herald Champion Novice Hurdle
- 5.30pm Grade 1 BoyleSports Champion Steeplechase
- 6.40pm Grade 1 Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Steeplechase
Wednesday 1st May - Punchestown Gold Cup Day
- 5.30pm Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle
- 6.05pm Grade 1 Coral Punchestown Gold Cup
- 6.40pm Grade 1 Racing Post Champion I.N.H Flat Race
Thursday 2nd May - Champion Stayers Hurdle Day
- 5.30pm Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle
- 6.40pm Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Steeplechase
Friday 3rd May - Champion Hurdle Day
- 5.30pm Grade 1 BETDAQ Punchestown Champion Hurdle
- 6.05pm Grade 1 Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle
Saturday 4th May - Festival Family Day
- 3.50pm Grade 1 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Annie Power Mares Champion Hurdle
- 4.25pm Grade 1 AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle
When is Next Year’s Punchestown Festival?
The Punchestown Festival 2020 will take place between Tuesday the 28th April and Saturday 2nd May, 2020.
Punchestown Festival Feature Races
- The Punchestown Gold Cup (€300k) | The feature race of the week at the Punchestown Festival each year takes place on the Wednesday of the meeting. Unlike the Gold Cup at Cheltenham, this blue-ribbon event is run over a slightly shorter distance of 3 miles 120 yards, but that doesn’t mean it’s a simpler test of stamina or class given Punchestown’s unique course - managed by Conor O'Neill - and it’s right-hand configuration. This year it seems likely to include the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo against two of his stablemates at the Willie Mullins yard, last year’s Punchestown Gold Cup winner Bellshill and recent Aintree winner Kemboy.
- The Punchestown Champion Hurdle (€300k) | The Champion Hurdle at Punchestown is run on the Friday of the meeting and has a wonderful roll call of recent winners including Faugheen, Supersundae and the incredible Hurricane Fly who won this race four times in a row between 2010 and 2013. Run over 2 miles, it’s a repeat of the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle but of course, doesn’t always deliver the same outcome despite many of the same horse lining up once again.
- The Punchestown Champion Chase (€300k) | The big race on day one of the Punchestown Festival is the Champion Chase run at top speed over 2 miles. The great Sprinter Sacre took the honours in 2013 in a mighty tussle with local hero Sizing Europe who had won the previous season and also took the following renewal in 2014. Beware that the field is often not big for this race and punters will struggle to take an each-way view when betting on it, but the quality is always of the highest calibre.
- The Punchestown Champion Stayers Hurdle (€300k) | Thursday of every Punchestown Festival gives a chance to the best-of-the-best to battle it out over 3 miles in the final chance for bragging rights as that year’s leading staying hurdler. Despite her sole ambition at the Cheltenham Festival to dominate the mares division, the superlative Quevega often wrapped her campaign each year with a romp in this race, winning it four times on the bounce between 2010 and 2013.
Punchestown Festival Tickets
Unlike the Cheltenham Festival the Punchestown Festival rarely sells out even though it will be attended by approximately 125,000 people over the course of 5 days.
Tickets are readily available through the official Punchestown Festival website and vary from between €30 per ticket to €50 per ticket for some of the more exclusive enclosures.
The event is a huge social draw and plenty of hospitality options are available and the betting options at the track include the usual ring of bookmakers, on-course betting shop and the Irish Tote.
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"Diarmuid is a published horse racing journalist and creator of the #racehour twitter community which produces a weekly podcast and a home for all things horse racing throughout the flat and jumps season across the UK and Ireland."
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