We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

BOSTON, MA
Level Contributor
14 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

Can anyone tell me more about this race? Is it fun? Can you "tailgate" before the race?

Dublin Ireland
Level Contributor
244 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

Hi

The Lexus Chase probably the biggest race of the week at Leopardstown racecourse's Christmas festival of racing.

This is a big national hunt race and seen as a preparation race for the Cheltenham Gold Cup (one of the most sought after prizes in national hunt racing). Last year's winner was Beef or Salmon who beat into 2nd place the previous year's winner Best Mate (in 1993 the race was called the Ericson Chase).

The festival at Leopardstown is great fun - excellent atmosphere. Its usually packed which can mean get to the bars and to the bathrooms requires some patience. And its cold - but maybe not so cold for someone from Boston well equipped with outdoor clothes. On the plus side the betting ring and excitement surrounding the races is excellent. Only in Ireland and Britain do the racecourses have individual bookmakers laying bets and this really makes the atmosphere so much more lively than where its only Tote betting.

As for tailgating - there is no such concept here. You could go it alone but the whole point of tailgating is the atmosphere no? If you are planning to drive to the race meeting then plan to arrive early as there will be competition for parking. I think the first race is 12.20pm. The gates (and bars) most likely open around 11.30am.

A really good public transport option if you are staying in the city centre is the LUAS tram which will take you from St Stephen's Green to the racecourse in about 20 minutes. You get off the LUAS at the last stop (Sandyford) and there are shuttle buses running from there to the racecourse (about a five minute drive).

You might be able to tell that I am fairlly enthusiastic about racing - I think its a great day out and its not touristy at all - full of Irish character and fun. Its an easy place to meet people as you can always ask for a tip on the next race!

Enjoy.

dublin, ireland
Level Contributor
611 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

Hi - yes a lot of the horsey set have picnics from the boot of their cars but it really involves flasks of tea and sandwiches, rather than pitchers of bloody mary's and it's an individual thing rather than a big get together if i've got the right idea about tailgating?

BOSTON, MA
Level Contributor
14 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

Thank you all for your responses. You are very helpful! We have about 10 of us that were planning on taking the tram from City Centre. We wouldn't have a car, so it wouldn't be an official 'tailgate' so to speak, but wanted to be prepared with briging the necessary provisions (beer/flasks/etc) is there was a big party in the parking lot. Wouldn't want to miss that. One more question about seating. I notice that there is an 'enclosed' area available- we do have some girls that may appreciate the warmth, but do you lose out on atmosphere? Can you go outside in the enclosed seating? Thanks!

Dublin Ireland
Level Contributor
244 posts
1 review
Save Reply
4. Re: Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

Hi again New England

The tickets you refer to are for the 'reserved enclosure' I think. You pay a premium ticket price for access to more upmarket facilities in the reserved enclosure. The enclosure is both inside and outside and refers to one side of the stand with its bars and dining facilities inside and part of the parade ring outside. No comprosise on atmosphere as having a reserved enclosure ticket (you get a badge to attach to your clothing) allows you access to all areas including the betting ring.

The standard admission price also includes access to indoor and outdoor areas with view of course, inside bars and dining and the pararde ring. Generally the standard admission price areas are more crowded, and less upmarket.

However please note that during the Christmas week of racing these are relative terms as all areas will be very crowded and even the reserved enclosure does not offer anyting like luxury. You cam pay a much bigger premium of about €150 a head for table of ten to go to the Pavillion - includes a meal and tipster usually. I have done once at a corporate day out - was fun but not a patch on the other options as the Pavillion is located too far away from the action - its not near the finish line or the betting ring.

With ten of you I think the best strategy is to arrive early (check with the racecourse when the shuttle buses start from the LUAS line) and buy reserve enclosure tickets. Then get a table in a bar such as 'Fillies'. With ten of you, you can keep this as base camp for the day. You can wander off in smaller groups to watch the parades and races outside (also shown inside on a big screen), and get your bets on - all the time with a group keeping your table in the warmth.

My advice would be wrap up warm, don't expect luxury, don't wear high heels.

Two more things re weather - it will feel a lot more crowded at the racecourse if its a rainy day -as everyone huddles indoors much more.

and finally, one more tip - the races at that time of year can be cancelled due to poor weather (if the ground is frozen or too soft due to prolonged heavy rainfall). So on the morning of the raceday, either listen to the radio or ask your hotel to check that the races going ahead before travelleing to the course.

BOSTON, MA
Level Contributor
14 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

Thanks Annie! Great advice. Now I just need to pick the right horse...

Destination Expert
for Dublin
Level Contributor
3,135 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: Horse races/ Lexus Chase- Dec 28th

I agree that this is a great day out and you will really enjoy it. Its true to say that the facilities at Leopardstown are not exactly luxury and it hasnt seen too much of the investment that seems to be going on at many other racecourses around the country.

If its not raining I would say its only 5 mins walk from Luas at Sandyford to the racecourse, so even if theres no shuttle bus or its full or something the walk is quite easy.

Let us know how you get on with the racing, I'd be interested to hear