Leopardstown Races

For Dubliners, the magic of Christmas goes on for slightly longer than in other parts of the world – four days longer in fact.

The Leopardstown Christmas Festival is a much needed escape for those who get sick of the flashing lights and the same old Christmas films being played over and over again.

For others, it’s a fun day out that keeps us in sync with those racing traditions that have made Irish racing our most successful international sport.

Held over four days in December and starting on St Stephen’s day, the meeting has an impressive racing programme, boasting the best National Hunt competitions.

For some avid annual attendees, the Leopardstown Christmas Racing Festival is as much a part of Christmas as Santa and stuffing.

There are a number of Grade 1 highlights over the four day period, but it’s the Lexus Chase that often garners the most attention.

In 2003, three-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate won the race in unforgettable style. Beef or Salmon is one to watch with three wins under his belt in this Grade 1 contest.

The Paddy Power Dial-a-Bet Chase is another contest for gamblers to look out for, with it having been won twice by Papillon, Moscow Flyer and Big Zeb, respectively.

The final day feature is the Bewley’s Hotel December Festival Hurdle and has been won an impressive four times by Istabraq while Brave Inca, Macs Joy and Hurrican Fly have also been crowned in preceding years.

*The Leopardstown races go on from the 26 to the 29 December at Leopardstown Race course. Ticket prices range from €15 for students, €25 for adults and €50 for top level seats.

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