The Punchestown Festival is a five-day celebration of Irish National Hunt racing that takes place from Tuesday, April 26th to Saturday, April 30th, 2023.
We have compiled the top Punchestown betting offers and free bets from the best betting sites right here on this page, along with key info and strategy tips, so punters can maximise their chances of winning when betting on the 2023 Festival.
Bettors should make use of the enticing welcome offers that bookmakers run for new players at the Punchestown Festival. Horse racing betting sites will offer free bets for signing up, which usually require a deposit to activate.
For example, you may be given £50 in bonuses for registering at a betting site and depositing £10. Promotions sometimes come bundled with casino offers such as free spins or site credit, or you may be offered cash back if your first bet loses.
These free bets are usually made available during the sign-up process and you’ll need to follow the terms and conditions stated to meet any specific criteria that come with the offers.
You can still benefit from some great Punchestown offers if you are not a new customer as top online bookmakers and betting apps have a host of deals for existing players. Some of the best ones to take advantage of include:
Each-way betting allows you to cover the possibility of your horse winning and also finishing in the top few places - usually including second, third and fourth. It’s often shortened to EW or E/W and essentially creates two separate bets on the same horse, always of equal stakes.
Usually in each-way betting the placings offer 1/4 odds, so bettors must be aware that unless they win they won’t receive the full price. Some bookmakers run extra each-way places, which can pay out on lower places right down to eight placings (or even in some cases as low as 10th place) - so it’s worth checking around.
BetVictor is one of the top betting sites that offers plenty of Punchestown markets and often has great extra each-way place deals.
Often bookmakers offer best odds guaranteed on big horse racing events like the Punchestown Races, which means if you bet on a runner at a certain price and that price drifts, you will receive a payout at the higher price if your bet wins.
This is generally only available on the day of the race and while it may pay to take a risk with good odds weeks before a meet, you might be left frustrated if the odds increase and you aren’t covered.
888sport is usually reliable for best odds guaranteed offers and has loads of Punchestown betting options each year.
Enhanced odds is offered when a bookmaker boosts the odds of a particular horse to make it more attractive to punters. This usually happens in the days or hours leading up to a race.
It can allow you to back a runner at a better-than-normal price, with Coral among the Punchestown bookies that regularly offer boosted prices.
With the non-runner no bet offer, if your horse doesn’t run on the day of the race for whatever reason, your bet will be classed as void and your stake returned to you as cash. This is a great deal for those of us who love ante-post betting on the big races.
If you are betting some time out from the race, you won’t know the starting lineup until a few days before, so non-runner no bet gives you insurance here. William Hill tends to include non-runner no bet among its Cheltenham betting offers each year and is a top site for betting on races in the UK and Ireland.
With Punchestown known as the home of Irish jumps racing, faller insurance could be crucial for bettors. With this promotion, if your horse falls, is brought down, or unseats its jockey during the race, you’ll receive your stake back (usually as a free bet and up to a preset limit).
Punters should expect lower odds for the faller insurance market, but it does give you extra protection. Always check the terms and conditions and assess the competition, but faller insurance from Ladbrokes is usually reliable.
A huge social event for patrons and punters alike set in the heart of Kildare, the Punchestown Races are not to be missed.
The Punchestown Festival has 40 races spread over five days, giving bettors ample chances to land some winners. There is total prize money of €3.2m up for grabs, with the famous Punchestown Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Champion Stayers Hurdle among the 12 Grade 1 contests.
The feature race of the Festival each year is the Punchestown Gold Cup, which takes place on the Wednesday of the meeting. Open to horses aged five years or older, this race is one of the highlights of the whole National Hunt season.
Unlike the Gold Cup at the Cheltenham Festival, this major event is run over a slightly shorter distance of three miles and half-a-furlong, but that doesn’t mean it’s a simpler test of stamina or class, given Punchestown’s unique course and its right-hand configuration.
Run on the Friday of the meeting over two miles and nine hurdles, the Punchestown Champion Hurdle usually features many of the horses that ran in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle the previous month.
Open to horses aged four years or older, this race has had a wonderful roll-call of winners over the years, including Faugheen, Supasundae and Hurricane Fly - with the latter winning it four times in-a-row between 2010 and 2013.
The big race on the first day of the festival is the Punchestown Champion Chase, run at top speed over two miles and 11 fences by a host of star chasers that battled it out in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival earlier in the season.
Formerly a handicap race, it became a conditions race in 1999 and tends to have a smaller field than other contests - but is always of a high calibre.
The great Sprinter Sacre took the honours back in 2013 in a memorable tussle with local hero Sizing Europe, who had won the previous season and also took the renewal in 2014. In 2021, Chacun Pour Soi romped home by over five lengths.
Run on the Thursday of the Punchestown Festival is the Champion Stayers Hurdle, which gives the best of the best a chance to battle it out over three miles and 14 hurdles to land bragging rights.
The legendary Quevega often wrapped up her campaign each year with a win here and remains the race’s most successful horse after winning it four times in-a-row from 2010 to 2013.
Open to amateur riders and horses aged between four and seven, the Champion Flat Race often throws up a star of the future.
With a host of horses from the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham featuring over two miles and half-a-furlong, the 2021 edition was won by Kilcruit, with jockey Derek O’Connor staying on in dramatic fashion for victory.
An ante-post bet is one placed before the runners are confirmed at the final declaration stage and often comes with higher odds because your stake is lost if the horse doesn’t run.
Punchestown betting markets will usually open with bookmakers around the time of Cheltenham and Aintree, with many of the best horses running at all three of these festivals.
Some top horses could land a coveted double or treble so the best bookmakers wait until the results of Cheltenham and Aintree before pricing up the same horses to take the spoils at Punchestown. Consider this when drawing up your Punchestown betting strategy.
Read More: Find the best Cheltenham betting offers
Some punters are happy to jump straight in and start placing bets without research, but having a betting strategy will likely boost your chances of picking a winning horse when betting on the Punchestown Festival.
Don’t make the mistake of ignoring the trainer of a horse, because they can have a huge impact on their chances of winning a race.
At Punchestown, Willie Mullins is often successful and he has more success at this festival than any other trainer. He has picked up over 150 wins at the racecourse and back in 2018 had winners in nearly half of the races.
Gordon Elliott has become Mullins' main rival in recent years, landing over 100 wins at the festival. Their burgeoning rivalry will mean both of them will want to be the top trainer at Punchestown, so any horses from these two trainers are worth considering.
Just like trainers, a jockey is key to a horse’s chances of success. While there’s plenty of debate about whether the trainer or jockey is more important, it’s the jockey who will ride the horse on the day.
Check out the recent form of your jockey before placing your bet, with some of the most successful at Punchestown including Paul Townend, Mark Walsh and Davy Russell.
The Punchestown Festival is a five-day racing National Hunt horse racing racing meet that takes place annually in April at Punchestown Racecourse in County Kildare, Ireland. The 2022 edition runs from April 26th until April 30th and includes 40 races.
The best Punchestown Festival betting sites with the best free bets and betting offers are listed on this page. To make your choice, compare welcome bonuses and any other special features that suit you best, choose your preferred site, and simply click 'visit site' or 'bet now' to claim a bonus.
888sport, BetVictor and William Hill are all solid choices for betting on the Punchestown Festival. All three carry plenty of markets, racing promotions and top free bet offers on a regular basis.
The Punchestown Gold Cup is the highlight of the Festival, while the Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase, Champion Stayers Hurdle and Champion Flat Race are other big races to watch out for every year.
All of the horse racing bookmakers on this page have free bets included in their welcome offers. When you sign up, you can use these free bets for punting on the Punchestown Festival. Some will also hand out free bets to existing customers as well that can be used on Punchestown.
"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."
Reviewer since October 2019