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Champions weekend

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Irish Champions Weekend

Irelan'd Best Racing Weekend

For 2 days in September the racing world visits Ireland. Longines Irish Champions Weekend is the only place to be for any serious racing fan. Starting on Saturday 14th September at Leopardstown with a World Class race meeting and concluding on Sunday 15th at The Curragh with the best Classic, Group and Listed racing throughout the festival encompases two fabulous days where International Trainers and Jockeys and Equine Superstars come to settle scores and confirm their reputations. World Class Racing, Gourmet Food, Stunning Fashion and top quality entertainment ensure that this race meeting delivers the ultimate race fan experience at two of the the best racecourse's in the world. Do Not Miss It !

Race & Stay Packages

Hotel Including Transport, Ticket or Hospitality Packages

Our exclusive Race & Stay™ Packages let you check in and chill out leaving you free to enjoy your luxury stay and world class racing in style and comfort. Our package prices start from as low as €129 pp but we have offers to suit all budgets, tastes and requirements including our new Gold and Platinum Tour Packages featuring the best accommodation, racecourse hospitality, exciting events and behind the scenes extras and side tours.
Start by selecting the Hotel of your choice from the options below, you will be able to explore all of our fabulous packages.

Visitor Guide & Information

All You Need To Know About Longines Irish Champions Weekend

About Irish Champions Weekend

Saturday 14th September

Information will be available from the 28th February

Sunday 15th September

Information will be available from the 28th February

About The Curragh

The Curragh

The Curragh Racecourse is located on a large grassy plain approximately 50km from Dublin Airport and City center on the main M7 / N7 motorway route in the “Horse County” of Kildare, one of the world’s foremost racing and breeding areas. Steeped in racing history from the early 17th century the Curragh runs all 5 classic races throughout the season starting in late May with the Irish Guineas Weekend, late June for the Irish Derby Festival, mid– July for the Irish Oaks and early September for the Irish St Leger, now part of the fabulous Longines Irish Champions Weekend. Aside from the 5 “classics” the Curragh also runs on 13 other race days often featuring high class group racing with some of the best international horses and jockeys taking part in truly enthralling racing action. The Curragh is not just a racecourse, the vast plain encompasses Irish Army barracks, training facilities, an equine pool, golf courses and is also home to many of the best trainers in the country. A wide racecourse with wonderful limestone turf of nearly 2 miles in horseshoe shape the horses run right handed across mildly undulating plain to a slightly uphill finish. It is widely recognized as one, if not the best, racecourses in the world.

Course Layout

The Curragh Racecourse Layout

Wise Words

"The Curragh is lovely track. In general the round courses are very fair, but one thing I would say is that the Derby track is quite different to the Plate track. It’s quite deceptive when looking at it from the stands, but there’s an awful lot of turning on the Derby track and a low draw is definitely a help. On the sprint track, when they race up against the stand side, a high draw is always favoured to one extent or another no matter what the ground is like, as there is a gradual camber from the stand side down to the far side, so the stand side is always that bit drier. When they move the running rail out into the middle of the straight track, the draw isn’t quite as important, but high numbers are still best. Over the mile/seven furlong tracks, I don’t think there are any great biases, though they do tend to come across to the middle or even the stand side when the ground is on the soft side". Mick Kinnane Hall of Fame Jockey

The New Curragh

Following 2 years of intensive redevelopment the NEW Curragh Grandstands and Facilities will be unvieled to our guests at our first meeting of the season on Saturday 13th April 2019 with the official opening taking place on Friday 24th May. Over 100m will have been spent by the time we are ready for business with the stunning new Curragh Grandstands as the centrepiece of this investment. Fabulous new restaurants, private suites, guest facilities, public bars and viewing areas await you on arrival at this historic venue. Not forgetting the total re-build of the site, car parking, equine facilities, gallops and training grounds. The Curragh has always been one of the wolrd's best racecourses now we have the facilities to match the hallowed turf we race on.

Curragh Facilities

Full information will appear here when our ticket and hospitality pricing is launched in February 2019.

About Leopardstown

Leopardstown

Leopardstown Racecourse is located in Leopardstown, Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, 8km south of the Dublin city centre, hosting both National Hunt and Flat racing. The course, built by Captain George Quin and modelled on Sandown Park Racecourse in England, was completed in 1888 and acquired by the Horse Racing Board of Ireland in 1967. Leopardstown is the premier dual-purpose racecourse in Ireland, boasting action of the very highest quality both on the Flat and under National Hunt rules. Hosting a total of 23 meetings throughout the year which feature a total of 13 Grade 1 races over jumps and two Group 1 races on the Flat.
Leopardstown is a wide, left-handed oval track of around a mile and three quarters in extent. The course is fairly level except for a slight rise from the last bend and the turns are relatively easy but the final bend is quite tight and horses are often forced wide especially in sprint distance races. It is essentially galloping in character.

Course Layout

Leopardstown Racecourse Layout

Champions Day

The featured Irish Champion Stakes is rated as one of the best races in the world and has been won by the likes of Giant’s Causeway, High Chaparral, Sea The Stars, Roaring Lion and Snow Fairy.

Wise Words

"Leopardstown is a very, very good track. It is a stiffer track than most people give it credit for, there is a long gradual rise all the way up the straight and the fact that they can start racing from quite a way out there tends to make the races real strong tests. A low draw is always a help, particularly in the six-furlong sprints as the bend comes up quickly after the start. It is possible to make all the running at Leopardstown, but it isn’t easy, particularly on the outside track in which the straight is even longer than on the inside track." Mick Kinnane Hall of Fame Jockey

Eating and Drinking

Leopardstown restaurants have all recently been refurbished to a very high standard and the Caterers offer pre-bookable fine dining options in 2 main locations: The Pavilion, Located in the home straight with some table track views and outside lawn view of the track. The 1888 Restaurant, overlooking the parade ring with access to 1st floor grandstand viewing. On the bigger race days (such as Irish Champions Day) Leopardstown provide various Marquee locations to casually dine in and entertain the guests. There are also several Non Bookable restaurant options and plenty of bars for you to enjoy.

We Suggest

Arriving early and with racing starting later in the afternoon and going on until 7.30pm this is quite a long day out. We recommend that you book hospitality with us in the Pavilion for this race day. You'll enjoy a comfortable seat with great food and service for the afternoon and still be able to go out and about to enjoy the racing and other activities on course with a nice base to return to as you please.
Ladies, there is nothing wrong in taking a pair of "flats" with you to give your feet and those high heels a break if you want to!

What to Wear

There is no formal dress code except no offensive dress anywhere and no sportswear, shorts or t shirts please in the hospitality areas. Especially on big race days guests do dress for the occasion. Ladies tend to wear dresses with hats, Gentlemen wear suits or slacks with a collared shirt and jacket. Formal wear is not at all necessary. Smart casual works always on all race days but you are very welcome to dress how you feel most comfortable. The choice is yours how you dress for the day, and of course the weather.
For Ladies
Wear what is appropriate for the weather, what you feel most comfortable in and also what is suitable for the environment you are booked for. Hospitality guests usually dress up for the occasion, Ticket only guests tend to be less formal in their choice of outfit. A nice dress, Trouser suit or Top and Skirt will always work well in any location, Hats look great, whether they be fascinators or headwear. Block colours work as well as do simple plain colours or designs, again, dress in what makes you feel good and your confidence will shine through. Racing is a long day out and good shoes are important. Those nice looking trendy killer heels may end up being your worst enemy at the end of the day.
Gentlemen
Again wear what is most appropriate for the weather, you cant go wrong with a good suit or quality slacks, collared shirt and tailored jacket. No T shirts or sportswear, smart casual is fine and is generally the rule. If you have booked hospitality you’ll find most guests will dress up, but the wearing of jackets and ties is by no means compulsory. If you have booked tickets only then the attire tends to be much more casual and as always don’t forget that a good pair of comfortable shoes is a godsend.
Our advice is to have a glam day out and go for it !!!

Betting In Ireland

There are two betting options in Ireland, The Tote and Bookmakers.
The Tote
The Tote is pool betting similar to the USA and other EU counties. Tote staff will come around your tables and be available in various locations on course throughout the afternoon to take your bets and hopefully pay out as well !! Trifecta’s, Exacta’s and other exotic type bets are available on nearly every race. Please ask your tote staff if you have any questions about what bets are available on each race.
Bookmakers
Bookmakers offer bets according to the price shown on their board for each horse at the time of the bet. Odds are displayed as fractions e.g. 2/1 which means if you bet €1 you get €2 back plus your stake. When you place a bet with a bookmaker they will give you a ticket which shows your bet and the potential return should you win. Most bookmakers will also take bets on “away races” that is races at other Irish and UK racecourses. Bookmakers are located in the betting ring (as its called) which is a fast paced, lively and noisy place. Bookmakers often vary in the odds they offer on each horse so do shop around for the best value. They may also take bets with or without the race favourite and each way bets for a horse to be placed in the first 2 in races up to 8 runners, first 3 in races of 8 or over runners and the first 4 in races that are handicap’s with 16 or more runners. If in doubt please do ask the bookmaker before you place your bet. As soon as you have placed your bet please look at your ticket and make sure that it is correct as mistakes cannot be rectified during or after a race.

Currency Exchange & ATM’s

There are ATM machines at the racecourses but they are always busy on big Race Days. Restaurants and Bars do take Cash, Visa, MasterCard and Visa Debit cards for any transaction if required. We do not accept American Express or Diners Cards in any area. Our advice is to ensure that you have enough Euro’s before you arrive and to only use the ATM’s if you have to.

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