A premier horse-racing venue in Ireland, Leopardstown Race Course hosts both National Hunt and Flat racing. Located 5 miles / 8 km south of Dublin City centre, Leopardstown Race Course hosts many important events, and racing takes place all year round.
The course was built by Captain George Quinn, who modelled it after Sandown Park Race Course in England. The Leopardstown course was completed in 1888 and then acquired by the Horse Racing Board of Ireland in 1967.
The Irish Champion Stakes is the course's most famous race, part of what could be considered the "World Series" of racing. Held in September, the Irish Champion Stakes attracts the cream of thoroughbreds from locations far and wide.
The Christmas Festival runs from the 26th to the 29th of December each year and is one of the highlights of the Irish racing calendar -- and the Dublin social calendar. It features seven top-notch races over a four-day period. Ladies’ Day is a much anticipated fashion event, where fashion and glamour cap a perfect day at the course.
Throughout the year, Leopardstown course is a prominent social venue that also boasts designer shops, a fitness centre, restaurants, and several snack areas. There is even a Farmer's Market, held every Friday. The newly renovated third level suites overlook the finishing straight and offer a breathtaking panoramic view. Suite televisions offer close-ups of the action on the raceway. There are annual memberships available and a newsletter recaps the events and trips for members, along with the latest racing news. The Leopardstown Hall of Fame honours famous Irish horses, racing trainers, and jockeys.
Access on Race Days
There are two entrances to Leopardstown on race days. One is Leopardstown Road near the roundabout linking Leopardstown Park Hospital, Leopardstown Road, Sandyford Industrial Estate, and Brewery Road, and the second is off the M50 at Junction 15 at Carrickmines. Parking is free -- however, there is a lot of traffic on race days.
Matron Stakes race at Leopardstown. Image by Dan Heap