NATIONAL HUNT: A right-handed, galloping, undulating track with a steady climb through the last five furlongs. The cross-country course is a long and twisting one over a variety of banks and other obstacles, few of which are jumped more than once. The turns are both left- and right-handed and only the final brush fence is on the racecourse proper.

ABOUT: Founded in the 19th century, Punchestown has certainly grown over the years - the first day of the race meeting held in 1868 was attended by only one solitary spectator. Today, The five-day Punchestown Festival attracts an annual audience of over 130,000.

Ruby Walsh

Ireland’s premier National Hunt racecourse is almost two miles round the fences and 1m6f round the hurdles. An all-jumps course it also has a cross-country track which meanders all the way around the venue. It’s a huge, incredibly wide racecourse and as regards the racing surface it’s unbelievable. They have that much ground to work with, but it is so well maintained and there’s always a lot of fresh ground. An undulating course, you climb up when you pass the winning post before you turn right to the highest point of the track and jump what’s the second fence in the two-mile chase. You descend sharply to the ditch at the bottom of the hill but from then on Punchestown is pretty level with gentle rises and descents. It’s a wonderful chase course tending to suit horses who can run close to the pace in chases, not so much in hurdles. There’s a lot of galloping on the hurdle course with a long run from the last flight to the winning post.

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