Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2015 Review
With total prize-money of €4.03m, Longines Irish Champions Weekend once again attracted the best of international competition to Leopardstown and the Curragh on the 12th and 13th of September, 2015. The Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on the opening afternoon saw the John Gosden-trained Epsom Derby hero Golden Horn prevail under Frankie Dettori while the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger was the feature at the Curragh on the second day and it was won in stunning fashion by Aidan O'Brien’s Order Of St George.
Once again, both days of Longines Irish Champions Weekend attracted great crowds with 24,164 in attendance. Other big winners on the track included Legatissimo, the winner of the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock for David Wachman and County Cork jockey Wayne Lordan and the Aidan O'Brien-trained Minding and Air Force Blue who won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes respectively.
Irish Thoroughbred Marketing’s promotion of the Goffs Champions Sale in the Leopardstown parade ring before racing on Saturday certainly paid off with €450,000 being paid for the exciting jumping prospect Edelpour. Three other lots also realised six-figure sums.
Over 400 people took part in the Curragh Thoroughbred Trail on Sunday morning before racing, getting a unique behind-the-scenes insight into the operations of some of the world’s most famous trainers and stud farms. Leading trainers taking part included Dermot Weld, Johnny Murtagh, John Oxx, Willie McCreery, Sandra Hughes, James Nash and Michael Halford. The groups also visited The Irish National Stud, Kildangan Stud, the Racing Academy and Centre for Education (RACE), the Irish Farrier School and some of the top equine veterinary practices.
After racing at Leopardstown on Saturday, the Irish European Breeders Fund hosted the Irish Champions Dinner in the Intercontinental Hotel in Dublin. Sponsored by Juddmonte and supported by the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Irish Thoroughbred Marketing and Horse Racing Ireland the gala dinner was attended by over 450 guests, including visitors from over 30 countries. The occasion was a celebration of Irish racing and a weekend that continues to showcase what’s best about the thoroughbred industry in Ireland.