Spring is in the air and that means racing season is very much upon us. We're very lucky as Dubliners to have a venue to call our own that is easily accessible by public transport and guaranteed to give us a day out filled with brilliant craic, high quality racing and top class entertainment.
Leopardstown racecourse provides all us this and more and there's no better place to wave goodbye to the January blues and welcome February with a bang.
Stan James Irish Gold Cup day, one of the most prestigous dates on the Irish racing calendar is taking place on February 12, but there are plenty of other reasons to take a trip to Leopardstown this month.
Here are our favourites, to name but a few:
1. The craic
There's no better way to get the gang together than putting on your Sunday best and heading to the racecourse. Good food, drink and the chance to lay down a few flutters never fails to deliver.
2. The style
Who doesn't love an excuse to get dolled up for the day?
Leopardstown is the place to see and be seen as the fashionistas of Dublin descend on the venue in their fancy outfits. The cacophony of colours that will have your neck turning at every corner.
€5,000 in prizes in the Powerscourt Hotel Style Awards on Stan James Irish Gold Cup day will be up for grabs so that should be all the incentive you need to dust off the gladrags!
The awards aren't just for the gals either as the lads are encouraged to get involved as well. The more the merrier!
3. Leopardstown is easily accessible
Parking is free and with Luas and DART stops nearby (with shuttle buses provided), getting to the venue is a stress-free affair.
4. The racing
There's nothing like a day at the horses to get the heart skipping and the pulses racing. Some of the world's top jockeys will be on hand to provide all the drama you need.
5. The Pavillion
Whether we like it or not, rainfall is never far away in Dublin. The Pavillion provides the perfect shelter with floor to ceiling windows so you don't miss any of the action and plenty of food and drink to keep your tastebuds satisfied.
6. An expert panel
For those who are feckin' clueless about horse racing, the Winning Line will be on hand to provide tips on who to back throughout Stan James Irish Gold Cup.
7. The scenery
226 acres of lush countryside in the middle of Dublin – now what other city in Europe has such a playground on its doorstep?!
8. The people
With the fashion, the food, the racing and the drink, there's never a shortage of topics to discuss with a stranger at Leopardstown.
There's always a celeb or two around on Stan James Irish Gold Cup day as well, so make sure the phone battery is charged for a selfie or two!
9. The Stan James Irish Gold Cup Quarter
A beautiful social marquee designed especially for the festival day – open to everyone with an admission ticket and not just reserved for VIPs.
Stan James Irish Gold Cup day will wrapped up with live musical entertainment provided by The Ratzingers, one of Ireland's most popular party bands and with a number of great pubs in the surrounding areas, you won't be short on a ways to wrap up your day!
It's time to get excited...