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Dublin Racing Festival: Our trip to the quintessential sporting weekend

Updated: May 10, 2023

What is the Dublin Racing Festival?

Now in its sixth year, the festival was conceived in an effort to combine the best of Leopardstown's January and February offerings. With eight grade ones across the weekend, highlights include the Irish Gold Cup, Irish Arkle and Irish Champion Hurdle, alongside the Dublin Chase and Marquees Spring Juvenile Hurdle. Staged the same weekend as the opening of the Six Nations rugby tournament, on Saturday night, Dublin's pubs fill with enthusiastic fans of both sports.

What's the itinerary?

Flying over on Friday night, we put you up either in the city centre, or in Leopardstown, where your hotel is a near-neighbour of the racecourse. Head into the city centre that night, and on Saturday morning, after a leisurely breakfast, make your way to the course for an afternoon's entertainment. Repeat on Sunday (when, after a few pints on Saturday night, you might be slightly worse for ware!), then head back to Dublin Airport on the Aircoach, which stops directly in front of both hotels and has a journey time of between 30 and 60 minutes.

What happened during 2023's edition?

This year's festival was dominated by Willie Mullins, fresh from his 4,000th career win. Sunday, however, despite Mullins taking the Irish Champion Hurdle with Matheson-winning State Man, belonged to magic-making mare Honeysuckle. Going for a fourth Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown, she saw off Vauban and Pied Piper, and was met with cheers as Rachael Blackmore mounted and took her down to the start. The reception on arrival was equally warm, with the assembled press huddling not around Mullins, but Henry De Bromhead, as he mulled over Honeysuckle's future runs.

What about exploring Dublin?

The centre of Ireland's fun-loving, bar studded capital is but a few kilometres from Leopardstown Racecourse. Take our Central Dublin Experience, and you're based in walking distance of the pubs at Temple Bar and the historic city centre. Or, with our Leopardstown Experience, you're within an easy tram ride of the centre... and within walking distance of the racecourse, which sits just around the corner. There's also a return shuttle bus from our Leopardstown hotel on racedays.


For 2023


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