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Irish Champions Festival: Our trip to Leopardstown and The Curragh

Updated: Sep 16, 2023

What is the Irish Champions Festival?

Known until recently as the Irish Champions Weekend, the pinnacle of Irish flat racing sees six Group Ones spread across two days, and two racecourses: Leopardstown and The Curragh. With the Irish Champion Stakes on Day One at Leopardstown, the baton is passed to The Curragh for Day Two, with the Irish St Leger and National Stakes among the highlights. These two days are what the Irish flat season has all been building towards.

What's the itinerary?

Flying in for Day One on Saturday, you'll be staying at the Clayton Hotel Leopardstown: in easy walking reach of Leopardstown Racecourse, and only half an hour from Dublin city centre by tram. Breakfast is included, as are weekend tickets... and the unmissable opportunity to take a tour of the Irish National Stud in the countryside of Co. Kildare, just over half an hour from Dublin!

What happened in 2023?

While Auguste Rodin rose again from flop defeat to take the Irish Champion Stakes, it was Tahiyra who captured hearts on Day One of the festival. The Aga Khan's brave filly, trained by veteran Dermot Weld, took the Matron for a visibly euphoric Chris Hayes. On Sunday, British visitor Roger Varian tasted success with a victory in the Irish St Leger, provided by Eldar Eldarov, who had Curragh native David Egan aboard.

What about transfers to and from The Curragh?

While your hotel is just twelve minute walk from Leopardstown, our trip to The Curragh on Sunday requires a bus transfer, provided for you from your hotel to the racecourse. As you push into the Irish interior, tick off turnings to Goffs, Punchestown and Naas, before arriving at the headquarters of Irish flat racing, looking out to Kildare town and the Irish National Stud.


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