Champions Weekend: How to get there, how to get tickets and more

Taking place at Leopardstown and the Curragh, this is a must-see on the racing calendar

There are numerous ways to get to the Curragh from all around the country. Photograph: Peter Mooney/Inpho

There are numerous ways to get to the Curragh from all around the country. Photograph: Peter Mooney/Inpho

 

Champions Weekend is one of the highest-quality fixtures in the Irish racing calendar, with the Irish Champions Stakes taking centre stage on the first day (Saturday September 14th) at Leopardstown before the Irish St Leger tops the bill on day two (Sunday September 15th) at the Curragh. In total there are 10 Group races including six Group 1s over the two days. As an added bonus, this year Pat Smullen has rounded up 10 legendary riders with 75 champion titles between them – including AP McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Kieran Fallon and Charlie Swan – to ride in the Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland on the second day at the Curragh. If that sounds like a good weekend then here is all you need to know.

Getting there

Day one: Since the extension of the Luas green line Leopardstown racecourse is now very accessible from most places around the city centre. The line now runs from Broombridge on the northside all the way out to Sandyford. From there it’s only a short walk to the racecourse while there are also complimentary shuttle buses. If you’re planning on driving, the racecourse is at exit 15 on the M50.

Day two: There are numerous ways to get to the Curragh from all around the country. By bus Dublin Coach (dublincoach.ie) provides a race day service from Burgh Quay in the city centre, Dublin Airport, Belfast, Limerick, Killarney, Ennis and Tralee, and all details can be found on their website. The racecourse is also accessible via a free shuttle bus from Kildare train station which is serviced from Heuston, Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway.

Tickets

A single adult ticket for either of the two days is currently €25 online (day one here, day two here) while it will cost €35 on the gate. There are also student and OAP tickets available for €20 online, rising to €30 if bought on the gate.

Fans can also buy an early bird ticket for both days online for €45, while the same ticket will cost €55 on the gate. There are also a number of hospitality packages available both days ranging from €40 to €170.

Accommodation

With the two racecourses not too far apart, it’s not too much extra hassle to make a weekend of it. Staying anywhere in Dublin city centre on the Saturday night allows you to easily get the bus from the Quays or the train from Heuston out to the Curragh, while the RaceAndStay website also offers packages. Packages range from €139 per person at the Westgrove Hotel in Clane to €299 per person at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin city centre, with all packages including transport to and from the races as well as tickets for both days.

– This article is part of a series of consumer-based sports stories. If you have any queries, stories or issues regarding travel, tickets, sport on television or anything else you can email rcroke@irishtimes.com or via Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke.

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