The Irish Flat Racing Season kicks off at the Curragh on Sunday 23rd March with the County Kildare venue featuring a tribute to recently retired champion jockey Johnny Murtagh, along with a preview of all the leading contenders for the major flat races this year
Race goers can look forward to an exciting line up of 18 fantastic race days featuring prize money in excess of 8.8 million euro and an entertainment programme throughout the season including a concert by country music star Nathan Carter after racing on Derby Friday 27th June.
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
The Irish Derby Festival will run from Friday 27th June to Sunday 29th June and a spectacular glamorous weekend of world class racing, fashion, food and music is promised for all.
Friday 27th June – Derby Friday Hoedown with country music star Nathan Carter performing
Saturday 28th June – Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day where an exciting line up on the track as well as a fantastic entertainment programme hosted by Hector OhEoghagain will ensure it’s the ultimate sporting & social day of the year.
Sunday 29th June – Derby Family Day which is a must for all families with lots of free entertainment for children and remember all U/16s goes FREE
Other Derby events will include The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Ball in aid of the Jack and Jill Foundation on 27th June and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Golf Classic on 26th June – both taking place at the K-Club. “An Audience with legendary jockey Michael Kinane” in The Riverbank Theatre in Newbridge on 24th June will be hosted by Tracy Piggott and this will be in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund. There are plans for lots of other Pre Derby events and these will be announced shortly.
Irish Champions Weekend
Irish Champions Weekend is an exciting sporting and social event that has been added to the Irish racing calendar combing history, glamour and prestige. Racing will take place on Saturday 13th September at Leopardstown featuring the Group One Irish Champion Stakes & Matron Stakes and on Sunday 14th September at the Curragh featuring three Group One races, one of which is the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger, the premier trial race in Europe for the Emirates Melbourne Cup. There are some great online ticket offers and before racing on the Sunday, many of the racing and breeding operations located close to the Curragh will open their doors to visitors as part of the Curragh Thoroughbred and all proceeds will go towards Horse Racing charities – simply book tickets at www.curragh.ie
The Guineas Spring Racing Festival – Two spectacular days of racing featuring the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday 24th May & the Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday 25th May which will also be Ladies Day.
Darley Irish Oaks Weekend taking place on 19th and 20th July with the Oaks on the Saturday and Sunday will promote the close association the Curragh has with our neighbours, The Defence Forces.
American Football will be honoured on Sunday 31st August to link with the Croke Park Classic between the University of Pennsylvania and University of Central Florida taking place on 30th August and it is hoped to attract lots of US visitors to the races that day.
Check out all our race day dates at www.curragh.ie
New Ticketing and Hospitality Website Launched
A brand new ticketing and hospitality booking system www.curraghhospitality.com has been launched for this year which will make booking both tickets and great value lunch & admission packages online much easier.
We will also continue with their Loyalty programme LOYLAP whereby racegoers can sign up to receive special rewards and we will still have special concessions available to owners and breeders on all race days.
Although the redevelopment of the racecourse is very much back on the agenda, a variety of upgrades have been made to the current facilities during the winter break including the refurbishment of the Horseshoe Restaurant with the assistance of sponsor Michael Murphy Home Furnishings in Newbridge and also to the garden enclosure adjacent to the parade ring, with the assistance of Kilsaran.
Under 30s Membership launched
A new Under 30s membership has been launched for the first time this year for only 100 euro with benefits including admission to all 18 race days including the Irish Derby and a variety of other privileges. Adult membership starts from 175 euro.
Tipperary Crystal will continue to sponsor the leading training and riding performance of the year awards with monthly winners selected from March to October
New sponsors confirmed
The Curragh’s sponsorship portfolio continues to be strong with some new names added to some very established races including:
24th May Lanwades Stud Stakes (Group 3)
28th June GAIN Railway Stakes (Group 2)
29th June Friarstown Stud International Stakes (Group 3)
29th June Macari’s of Kildare Ladies Derby
24th Aug Kilfrush Stud Royal Whip Stakes (Group 3)
14th Sept Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger (Group 1)
14th Sept Moyglare Stud Blandford Stakes (Group 2)
14th Sept Derrinstown Stud Flying Five (Group 3)
Themed days to provide added entertainment to race days
A variety of themes will aim to broaden the appeal of race days including
25th May Etihad Airways Most Stylish Lady in association with Irish Tatler
28th June Dubai Duty Free Most Stylish Lady in association with Boodles
19th June The K Club Most Stylish Lady
14th September Palmerstown House Estate Most Stylish Lady
Ladies can register in advance on www.curragh.ie or on the race day
Series of Family Days
5th May Newbridge Parishes Family Race Day
29th June Family Day at the Irish Derby Festival
10th August Free Family Admission Day
14th September Irish Champions Weekend
28th September Irish Pony Club Race Day