Punchestown Festival (2021)

The Punchestown Festival, also known as the Irish National Hunt Festival, is definitely one of the highlights in the Irish horse racing sporting calendar. When is the Punchestown Festival? Well, it runs over the course of 5 days at the end of April, and Punchestown 2021 will take place from the 27th of April until the 1st of May. During this festival, there are no fewer than 12 Grade 1 races run on the Punchestown racecourse. The impressive prize money on offer as well as the prestige of this festival attracts the best racing talent from Ireland and Britain. The following guide for the Punchestown Festival 2021 will tell you all that you ought to know about this fascinating horse racing festival.

Top Bookmakers
1. Lad​brokes Sports Lad​brokes Sports
2. William Hill William Hill
3. Bet365 Bet365

Race Schedule

As stated above, this horse racing festival takes place over the course of 5 days and there are no fewer than 40 Punchestown races that horse racing fans from all over the world can enjoy and place bets on. Below you will find the Punchestown Festival race card for all five days, and we recommend that you take a look at these schedules and mark down the Punchestown Festival 2021 dates and races that you are interested in, so you do not miss out.

Day 1 - Punchestown Champion SteepleChase

The main race on Day 1 of this festival is the Punchestown Champion Chase. This race is open to horses that are at least 5 years old, and it has a distance of 2 miles. It used to be a handicap race, and then in 1999 it became a conditions race, and it then became a Grade 1 race in 2000. This race has become one of the biggest at the Irish National Hunt Festival and notable winners in the past includes the likes of Moscow Flyer, Sprinter Sacre, Sizing Europe, and Master Minded. Below is the race card for Day 1 of this event:

Start TimeRaceDistance
15:40pmThe Adare Manor Opportunity Series Final Handicap Hurdle2m 5f
16:15pmThe eCOMM Merchant Solutions Champions Novice Hurdle2m 100y
16:50pmThe Killashee Hotel Handicap Hurdle2m 100y
17:25pmThe William Hill Champion Steeplechase2m
17:55pmThe Goffs Land Rover Bumper2m 100y
18:30pmThe Dooley Insurance Group Champion Novice Steeplechase3m 120y
19:00pmThe Kildare Hunt Club Fr. Breen Memorial Cross Country Steeplechase3m 1f
19:35pmThe Punchestown Flat Race2m 100y

Day 2 - Punchestown Gold Cup

The big race on Day 2 of this event is the Punchestown Gold Cup, which is a race that is open to horses 5 years and above and is 3 miles and one furlong in length. This race has been around since 1999 and it features horses that have run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup earlier on in the season. Previous notable winners of this race include Florida Pearl, Imperial Call, Don Coassack, War of Attrition, and Djakadam. Below is the full Punchestown race card Wednesday and some Punchestown tips Wednesday will follow later on:

Start TimeRaceDistance
15:40pmThe Punchestown Novice Handicap Hurdle2m 100y
16:15pmThe Connolly's Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Final2m 4f
16:50pmThe Louis Fitzgerald Hotel Hurdle2m 4f
17:20pmThe Irish Mirror (War of Attrition) Novice Hurdle3m
17:55pmThe Ladbrokes Punchestown Gold Cup3m 120y
18:30pmThe ITM - Supporting Irish Store Sales Champion I.N.H Flat Race2m 70y
19:00pmThe Guiness Handicap Steeplechase2m 4f
19:35pmThe Weatherbys GSB Irish EBF Mares Flat Race2m 70y

Day 3 – Champion Stayers Hurdle

The main race that takes place on Day 3 is the Punchestown Champion Stayers Hurdle, which is a race that is run over 3 miles and is open to horses that are four or above. Previous winners of this race include the likes of Quevega and Unowhatimeanharry. Below is the full race card for Day 3:

Start TimeRaceDistance
15:40pmThe Specialist Joinery Group Handicap Hurdle2m
16:15pmThe Pigsback.com Handicap Steeplechase2m
16:50pmThe Mongey Communications La Touch Cup Cross Country Race4m 2f
17:25pmThe Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle3m
18:00pmThe Conway Piling Handicap Hurdle3m
18:35pmThe Ryanair Novice Steeplechase2m
19:05pmThe Punchestown Mare Novice Hurdle2m 40y
19:35pmThe Grant Thornton (C&G) Flat Race2m 40y

Day 4 - Punchestown Champion Hurdle

The big race on Punchestown Friday is the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, which is 2 miles long and open to horses older than 4. Previous winners of this race have included the likes of Hurricane Fly, Jezki, and Faugheen. Below you can find the full race schedule for the second last day of this prestigious event.

It is not only horses that can win on this day as this is Ladies' Day. On this day, the women dress up in their nicest outfits and then Punchestown Ladies Day winners are declared based on who is wearing the nicest outfit.

Start TimeRaceDistance
15:40pmThe Paddy Power Hunters Steeplechase for the Bishopscourt Cup2m 4f
16:15pmThe EMS Copiers Novice Handicap Steeplechase2m 5f
16:50pmThe Hanlon Concrete Irish EBF Mares Handicap Steeplechase2m 5f
17:25pmThe Paddy Power Champion Hurdle2m
18:00pmThe Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle2m 4f
18:35pmThe Irish Daily Star Champion hunters Steeplechase3m 120y
19:05pmThe SalesSense International Novice Hurdle2m
19:35pmThe Avision Young INH Flat Race2m 2f

Day 5 - Punchestown Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle

This big race on the final day of this marvellous horse racing festival is the Champion four-year-old hurdle that is run over a distance of two miles. Below is the full race card for Punchestown Saturday.

Start TimeRaceDistance
14:15pmThe Dooley Insurance Group WFA Cross Country Steeplechase3m 1f
14:40pmThe Punchestown Handicap Steeplechase3m 7f
15:20pmThe Coolmore Kew Gardens Irish EBF Annie Power Mares Champion hurdle2m 4f
16:00pmThe Ballymore Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle2m
16:30pmThe Palmerstown House Pat Taaffe Handicap Steeplechase3m 120y
17:05pmThe Punchestown Handicap Hurdle2m 4f
17:40pmThe Punchestown Mares Handicap Hurdle2m 4f
18:10pmThe Punchestown (Pro Am) Flat Race2m

Punchestown Festival Betting: Runners and Odds

As we have shown from the race times Punchestown, there are plenty of races for horse betting fans to put their money on. Over the course of this 5-day festival, all the best horses from across Ireland and the United Kingdom will compete in the aforementioned Punchestown racing fixtures.

Not only is there plenty of money up for grabs those associated with each horse such as the owners, jockeys, and trainers, but you, as a horse racing fan, can make a lovely profit if you are smart when it comes to who you put your money on.

In the follow section of this Punchestown preview, we are going to give you some very useful Punchestown betting tips that can go a long way to helping you out when you are trying to predict Punchestown results. However, before we jump right in and give you any Punchestown horse racing tips, we are going to give you the Punchestown odds for the main race of each day.

In the tables below, you will find the Punchestown entries for each race, their odds from some of the biggest sportsbooks, and who have trained them. It is always useful to get a good idea as to who the favourites for a race are and who has trained them as this can be the difference between you winning or losing your bet.

Although the Punchestown Kildare event is fast approaching, bookmakers are yet to offer their odds for races. We will fill this information in when it is finally released by the sports betting sites.

Top Bookmakers
1. Lad​brokes Sports Lad​brokes Sports
2. William Hill William Hill
3. Bet365 Bet365

Punchestown Champion Steeplechase

The Champion Steeplechase has a prize pool of €250,000 and the winner gets a share of €150,000, while second place will get €50,000. The other four places will get a much smaller share of the remaining €50,000. Take a look at the table below to see who is favourite to walk away with the top prize.

RunnersWilliam HillBet 365888 SportBetVictorLadbrokesTrainer
Chacun Pour Soi5/46/55/45/411/10Willie Mullins
Allaho13/813/813/813/815/8Willie Mullins
Nube Negra5/111/25/15/111/2Dan Skelton
First Flow14/116/114/114/114/1Kim Bailey
Cilaos Emery22/125/122/122/120/1Willie Mullins
Daly Tiger50/166/140/150/150/1Noel Meade
Castlegrace Paddy40/150/133/150/140/1Pat Fahy

Punchestown Gold Cup

The participants in the Gold Cup are competing for spoils worth €250,000, and the victor will walk away with a nice €150,000. The runner-up will win €50,000, while the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth will get the rest. Check out the Punchestown Gold Cup odds in the table below.

RunnersWilliam HillBet 365888 SportBetVictorLadbrokesTrainer
Al Boum Photo11/86/46/413/813/8Willie Mullins
Kemboy10/34/14/14/14/1Willie Mullins
Melon8/115/29/19/17/1Willie Mullins
Fakir D'oudairies6/17/17/17/17/1Joseph O'Brien
Easy Game20/120/120/120/120/1Willie Mullins
Clan Des Obeaux3/110/311/43/13/1Mrs Denise Foster

Punchestown Champion Stayers Hurdle

The horses in this race are fighting for a prize pool of €250,000. The winner of the race will collect €150,000, while the horse that comes second will claim €50,000. The rest of the prize fund will be shared between the other four horses that place. Below are all the Punchestown entries for this prestigious race.

RunnersWilliam HillUnibetBetVictorBet 365LadbrokesTrainer
Agrapart50/140/150/150/150/1Mrs Jane Williams
Bacardys33/133/133/133/133/1Willie Mullins
Beacon Edge7/16/15/111/25/1Noel Meade
Diol Ker25/125/120/120/125/1Noel Meade
Flooring Porter7/415/815/82/17/4Gavin Cromwell
French Dynamite20/120/120/116/120/1Mouse Morris
Fury Road12/17/110/110/18/1Mrs Denise Foster
Klassical Dream25/116/125/120/120/1Willie Mullins
Lisnagar Oscar16/116/116/116/116/1Rebecca Curtis
Saldier20/133/133/133/133/1Willie Mullins
Sire Du Berlais4/14/14/14/14/1Mrs Denise Foster
Sole Pretender16/116/116/116/116/1Norman Lee
The Storyteller8/115/27/17/18/1Mrs Denise Foster
Grand Roi40/140/140/140/140/1Mrs Denise Foster
James Du Berlais25/133/125/133/116/1Willie Mullins
Heaven Help Us20/116/125/116/133/1Paul Hennessy
Minella Melody50/150/150/150/150/1Henry de Bromhead
Mrs Milner20/120/120/120/120/1Paul Nolan

Punchestown Champion Hurdle

The prize pool for this prestigious race stands at €250,000. The winner of this race will pick up €150,000, while second place will earn €50,000. The remaining money will be split between the other horses that place. Who is the favourite to walk away with the top prize? The table below will reveal all.

Update: The list of bookmakers odds below will be updated as soon as they send us their lists closer to date.

RunnersWilliam Hill888 SportBetVictorLadbrokesUnibetTrainer
Honeysuckle4/64/64/64/74/7Henry de Bromhead
Epatante9/25/16/16/111/2Nicky Henderson
Sharjah9/110/111/19/110/1Willie Mullins
Abacadabras11/111/111/110/110/1Mrs Denise Foster
Aspire Tower11/112/114/114/112/1Henry de Bromhead
Goshen12/112/114/114/112/1Gary Moore
Jason The Militant16/116/116/114/116/1Henry de Bromhead
Darver Star40/140/140/140/140/1Gavin Cromwell

Punchestown Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle

There is a prize pool of €100,000 for this race, and the winner will pick up €60,000, while second place will get €20,000. The rest will be split between third, fourth, fifth, and sixth. Below are the participants that will be competing for the top prize in this race.

Update: The list of bookmakers odds below will be updated as soon as they send us their lists closer to date.

RunnersWilliam Hill888 SportLadbrokesBetitonMr GreenTrainer
Quilixios7/413/86/413/813/8Henry de Bromhead
Zanahiyr9/49/45/22/19/4Mrs Denise Foster
Haut En Couleurs10/310/310/310/310/3Willie Mullins
Saint Sam8/19/110/115/28/1Willie Mullins
Jeff Kidder12/112/112/112/112/1Noel Meade
Zoffanien28/128/125/128/133/1Denise Gerard Hogan
Mica Malpic33/128/133/133/133/1David Cottin
Druid's Altar50/140/150/150/150/1Joseph O'Brien
Palace Rock50/140/150/166/150/1Francis Casey

Punchestown Tips

When you are betting on the Punchestown event, or any horse race meeting, you can jump straight in and start placing bets without doing research, but if this is the strategy that you are going to use then you will lose more cash than you win. While there is every chance that you will win a bet every now and then, more often than not Lady Luck will not be on your side and you will lose your bet. Below we are going to give you some great Punchestown tips that you should remember when you are thinking about betting on a horse in one of the races at this festival.

Trainers Are Important

Those who are new to the world of horse racing will often totally ignore the trainer of a horse that they are thinking about betting on, but this is a big mistake. The trainer that a horse has can have a huge impact on their chances of winning a race they are in. For example, when it comes to Irish racing results Punchestown, Willie Mullins has been at the top of his game for some time now. To give you an idea as to how successful he has been at Punchestown, back in 2018 he had winners in nearly half of the races. When you are looking at horses to bet on, you will not be doing yourself a disservice by focusing on those trained by Mullins.

Gordon Elliot has become Mullins' main rival in recent years, which is an indication of how good Elliot is himself. So, if none of Mullins' horses appeals to you, take a look to see if any horse running in the race you are interested in have been trained by Elliot.

Do Not Forget the Jockeys

When it comes to a horse's success, the jockey is obviously important too. There has been plenty of debate about whether the trainer or the jockey is more important, but that is somewhat irrelevant. If a quality horse has a bad jockey on his back, then there is every chance that the horse will be unsuccessful. Therefore, when you are looking at some horses to bet on, you should take a look at the jockey who will be riding them and then find out how successful they have been. Some of the most successful jockeys at Punchestown are Paul Townend, Rachael Blackmore, and Davy Russel.

Tips for the Big Races

You can improve your chances of winning a bet you place on a race by analysing trends. Below we will take a look at trends from the biggest race on each day, and these will help to improve your chances of backing the right horse.

Punchestown tips day 1 (Punchestown Steeplechase):

  • From the last 11 winners, 8 of them were between the ages of 7-10
  • Out of the previous 11 winners, 3 have been pre-race favourites, while 7 of them have been in the top 3
  • From the last 11 victors, 7 of them had run in an event before the Champion Chase, while 11 had raced within the previous 48 days
  • From the winners of the last 11 races, 8 had run at least one at Punchestown, while 7 of them had won at least 1 race at this festival
  • All of the last 11 winners had at least 8 chase runs under their belts, while 10 of them had managed at least 8 chase wins

Punchestown tips day 2 (Gold Cup):

  • 10 of the previous 11 winners have been aged 7 to 9
  • From the previous 11 winners, 5 of them started the Gold Cup as favourites, while 7 were in the top 3
  • Out of the last 11 victors, 4 won their previous race, while 10 of them had ran a race in the last 40 days
  • From the last 11 winners, 10 had run at least twice at Punchestown, while 9 had won at least once at this festival
  • Out of the last 11 winners, 10 had 7 or more previous chase runs, while all 11 winners had 3 or more previous chase wins

Punchestown tips day 3 (Champions Stayers hurdle):

  • From the last 11 winners, 9 of them have been 7 or older
  • Out of the last 11 winners, 5 started the race as favourites, while 8 were in the top 3
  • From the previous 11 winners, 5 won their previous race, while 10 of them had ran in the last 51 days
  • Out of the previous 11 victors, 9 of them had run at least once at Punchestown, while 9 also had at least one win
  • From the last 11 winners, 9 had 9 or more previous hurdle races under their belts, while 8 had 5 or more hurdle wins to their name

Punchestown tips Day 4 (Champion Hurdle):

  • Out of the last 11 victors, 9 of them have been aged 6-8
  • From the last 11 winners, 8 had started the race as favourites, while 10 of them were in the top 3
  • From the previous 11 champions, 6 won their race before the Champion Hurdle, while 10 had raced at least once in the last 52 days
  • From the last 11 winners, 9 horses had run at least once at Punchestown, while 9 had picked up at least one win at this festival
  • From the previous 11 winners, 10 had raced at least 7 times over hurdles, while all 11 winners had 3 or more victories over hurdles

Punchestown tips Day 5 (Champion 4-year-old Hurdle):

  • From the last 11 winners, 5 of them have been favourites, while 9 of them have been in the top 3
  • From the last 11 victors, 2 of them won their previous race before this one, while 10 of them had ran in the last 50 days
  • Out of the last 11 champions. 4 had run at least once at Punchestown, while only one of them had won before at this festival
  • All 11 previous winners had 3 or more previous hurdle runs, while all of them had 1 or more win over hurdles
Top Bookmakers
1. Lad​brokes Sports Lad​brokes Sports
2. William Hill William Hill
3. Bet365 Bet365

Free Bets

So, now that we have provided you with some very useful information that will definitely help you when you are betting on races at Punchestown, we shall quickly take a look at some free bets. Nowadays, most bookies will offer free bets to new customers in order to entice them to open an account with them. Free bets are not all the same quality, so in the table below we have provided you with what we feel are some of the best free bet offers on the table at the moment.

You can use the following free bets on whatever sporting event you like, but if you open an account with any of these bookies when the Punchestown Festival is on, we recommend you use your free bets on those.

Punchestown Free Bets
Bet365 Bet credits of up to €100 Claim Now
William HillPlace a €10 bet and get free bets worth €40 Claim Now
888sportPlace a €10 horse race bet and you will get 6 x €5 free betsClaim Now
BetVictorPlace a €10 bet a receive free bet bonuses worth €30Claim Now
UnibetUp to €40 back if your first race bet loses and €10 casino bonusClaim Now

N.B. Bonuses change all the time since bookies have to come up with innovative ways to stay that one step ahead of all of their main rivals. Therefore, there could be the chance that the bonuses in the table above do not match what is on offer at the relevant bookie. This is something we are not in much control of, but we do try our best to update every page regularly. Even if the bonuses have changed, we are certain that the new bonus will be as good or even better.


Below you will be able to find some useful news about the Punchestown Festival.

Willie Mullins is Looking for More Wins

There is one man that really enjoys the Punchestown Festival, and that man is Willie Mullins. He has had more success at this festival than any other jockey. He has picked up 164 wins, and will be hoping to add a considerable number to that this time around. Anyone who knows their horse racing, definitely would not bet against him doing just that.

Gordon Elliot Will Resume His Rivalry with Mullins

Gordon Elliot has gone on to become a very good trainer in his own right, and this has led to him becoming a bit of a rival to Mullins. The two will be battling it out to be the Top Trainer at Punchestown, and it will be fascinating to watch the battle unfold. Elliot has 110 wins at this festival, and he will be desperate to add more to that pretty impressive figure.

There Will Be No Attendance

Due to the pandemic, there will be no attendance at Punchestown this year. While this will be sad news to horse racing fans across the world, there are still many ways that you can follow all the action from home. This is what we are going to discuss now.

Freeview: Since this is a big horse racing meeting, the races should be shown live on either ITV or Channel 4. Check the schedule a bit closer to the time to see what time the coverage will start.

Racing TV: With regards to racing channels in Great Britain and Ireland, Racing TV is the king as it shows live action from 35 racetracks in the UK and 26 in Ireland. Each year they show their viewers around 8,000 races, with a lot of those being exclusive to the channel. If you are in Britain, you can watch the channel if you happen to be a customer of Sky or Virgin, while those in Ireland can watch if they have subscribed to Vodafone, Virgin, or Sky.

Bookmakers: Placing bets on horses is so popular that bookies know that it is wise to show live streams for a variety of horse race meetings around the world. The best sportsbooks out there will have the races from the Punchestown Festival, so simply log into your account to enjoy them.

A Look Back at the Previous Year

The 2020 Punchestown Festival did not go ahead because of the Covid-19 pandemic, so when it comes to the Punchestown Gold Cup, the reigning champion is Kemboy, who was raced by Ruby Walsh and trained by Willie Mullins. In the table below, you can see the full results for the 2019 Punchestown Gold Cup.

Horses in Finishing OrderJockeyTrainerOdds
KemboyR WalshW Mullins13/8
Al Boum PhotoP TownendW Mullins7/4
The StorytellerD N RusselG Elliot25/1
BellshillD MullinsW Mullins5/1
Definitely RedD CookB Ellison22/1
Snow FalconS FlanaganN Meade33/1
Sub LieutenantJ KennedyH D Bromhead13/2
MonaleeR BlackmoreH D Bromhead10/1


When is the Punchestown Festival?

The Punchestown Festival will take place from the 27th of April until the 1st of May.

Is Punchestown Festival Cancelled?

The Punchestown Festival is not cancelled this year, but it will be run behind closed doors, meaning no fans can attend.

How Far is Punchestown from Dublin?

The distance from Punchestown to Dublin is 40km.

How to Bet on Punchestown Gold Cup?

Betting on the Punchestown Gold Cup is just as easy as betting on any other horse race. You just need to sign into your sportsbook account, head over to the horse racing section, find the Gold Cup odds, choose a horse, click on it, place your stake, and click submit.

What Are Good Horse Racing Odds?

Well, this is not easy to answer as everyone is after something different. However, in our opinion, good horse racing odds are those that allow you to make a nice profit should you win.

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