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of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend moves to the historic venue of the
Curragh Racecourse. The racecourse has been completely redeveloped and now
rivals the best sporting destinations in the world.
Racing at the Curragh
The Curragh Racecourse is home to all five Irish Classic races and is the venue for the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
The four Group 1 races on the eight-race card are the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, the final Irish Classic of the season, the Moyglare Stud Stakes, the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes and the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes.
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to allow older horses to compete in 1983, this race has been won by some truly
great stayers with the older horses holding sway over their younger rivals on
many occasions. Melbourne Cup winner Vintage Crop won the Irish St. Leger on
the way to his historic triumph Australia in 1993 before scoring again 12 months
later, while Oscar Schindler and two-time Ascot Gold Cup hero Kayf Tara were
other dual winners. The brilliant Vinnie Roe won on four consecutive occasions
(2001 - 2004) while the record breaking four-time Ascot Gold Cup winner Yeats
triumphed in 2007. More recently, there have been equally impressive
winners with Brown Panther recording a six-and-a-half length win for Tom
Dascombe in 2014 while Order Of St George raced clear in the straight to win
the 2015 renewal by all of 11 lengths under Joseph O’Brien. However, he
suffered a surprise defeat at odds of 1/7 favourite when losing out Wicklow
Brave, a first Classic success for legendary National Hunt trainer Willie
Mullins, in 2016 but regained his crown with an authoritative nine-length win the
following year. Aidan O'Brien won the race again in 2018 with Flag Of Honour. Search For A Song won the Irish St Leger for trainer Dermot Weld for two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020.
Group 1 contest always attracts top-class sorts. Originally a six-furlong
contest, the distance was upped to seven furlongs in 1992 when it was won by
the Clive Brittain-trained Sayyedati which subsequently won the English 1,000
Guineas the following spring. Since then other fillies that have gone on to
Classic glory were the 1997 winner Tarascon (won Irish 1,000 Guineas in 1998),
the 2008 winner Again (won Irish 1,000 Guineas in 2009) and the 2010 winner
Misty For Me (won Irish 1,000 Guineas in 2011). Sequoyah gave Aidan O'Brien his
first success in the race in 2000 and he saddled his seventh winner when the
brilliant Minding took the honours in 2015, the first of her seven Group 1
wins. The 2016 renewal saw Intricately, trained by Joseph O'Brien and ridden by
his brother Donnacha, narrowly beat Aidan’s runner Hydrangea. Donnacha followed
up that success when winning the race for a second time in 2017 on Happily,
trained by Aidan O'Brien which led home a 1-2-3 for the Ballydoyle
stable. Last year’s race was won by the Patrick Prendergast-trained
Skitter Scatter which was ridden by Ronan Whelan. She provided both men with a
first Group 1 success. Shale won the Moyglare Stud Stakes in 2020 with Ryan Moore onboard for trainer Donnacha O'Brien.
as Ireland’s most important two-year-old race, legendary trainer Vincent
O’Brien saddled the winner on no fewer than 15 occasions with victories from
some true giants of the turf like Sir Ivor and Roberto. In more recent times,
trainer Aidan O’Brien has come to the fore with winners such as Desert King,
King Of Kings, George Washington, Mastercraftsman and Gleneagles. Gleneagles
went on to win both the English 2,000 Guineas and the Irish equivalent the
following year and win the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Air Force
Blue made it 10 wins for O’Brien when running out a ready winner in 2015 and
Ballydoyle’s dominance in the race was further emphasised in 2016 when
Churchill ran out the easiest of winners. However, Jim Bolger sent out his fourth
winner of the race when Verbal Dexterity beat the Gordon Elliott-trained
Beckford to win the race in 2017 but the race went for export last year as
Quorto scored for Charlie Appleby and owners Godolphin. Like the Moyglare Stud
Stakes, the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes is run over seven furlongs. Thunder Moon won the race in 2020 for trainer Joseph O'Brien.
promotion of the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes is a terrific boost for
Longines Irish Champions Weekend and the Curragh Racecourse. The race was run
as a Group 1 for the first-time last September, fulfilling a long-held ambition
to have such a race in Ireland for older horses. The Flying Five sits perfectly
within the European calendar between the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and the Prix
de l’Abbaye at Longchamp and is just the fourth Group 1 sprint over five
furlongs in Europe. As a Group 2 in 2017, the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five
Stakes was won by the Aidan O'Brien-trained Caravaggio which had won the Group
1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. In 2015, the Edward Lynam-trained Sole
Power, successful in five Group 1 races, was the winner. The first winner
of the race as a Group 1 was the Karl Burke-trained Havana Grey. Glass Slippers won the race in 2020 with Tom Eaves onboard for trainer Kevinn Ryan and owner Bearstone Stud Limited.
Sunday 12th September 2021 (approx times)
1:45pm 1st Race: IEBF
Bold Lad Premier Handicap
2.20pm 2nd Race: Derrinstown
Stud Flying Five
2.50pm 3rd Race: Moyglare
“Jewels” Blandford Stakes (Group 2)
3.25pm 4th Race: Moyglare
Stud Stakes (Group 1)
4.00pm 5th Race: Goffs
Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Group 1)
4.35pm 6th Race: Comer
Group International Irish St Leger (Group 1)
5.05pm 7th Race: Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sales Stakes
5.45pm 8th Race: IEBF Northfields Premier Handicap 12f
At The Races
Longines Irish Champions Weekend is synonymous with style and will see a weekend of high fashion kicking off at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 11 and The Curragh on Sunday, September 12.
Furthermore, the Longines Irish Champions Weekend Young Designer Award will take place on Sunday where three finalists will be showcasing their designs and the overall winner will be announced, chosen by a judging panel of Courtney, EVOKE editor Sybil Mulcahy and a Longines representative, so stay tuned to see the winner.
Situated on the top floor of the new Curragh grandstand, the St. Leger restaurant offers 3-course A la carte fine dining in the most stunning location Irish racing has to offer overlooking the race track and surrounding countryside. The St. Leger restaurant dining experience has received universal praise from guests and it is the ultimate VIP hospitality experience at a height of 20 meters above the racecourse. St. Leger bookings include reserved car parking and access to level 2 grandstand seating.
Packages for 2021 will be available soon.
The Oaks Restaurant is a stunning dining room in a
great location on level 2 of the new grandstand. Oaks Restaurant guests can
also enjoy exclusive use of a reserved balcony overlooking the parade ring and
the champagne terrace below.
Prices include admission, race cards, 3-course À la carte dining
followed by tea & coffee. Guests may be on shared tables depending on group
The Curragh Racecourse
Ireland has five main ferry ports – Belfast, Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Larne and Rosslare, and seven main airports - Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Knock, Shannon and Waterford. If travelling from Great Britain to Ireland by ferry, you can bring your car or go as a foot passenger.
Visit Ireland.com for more information.
By CarFrom Dublin take Exit 9 off the M50 onto the N7 southbound. Take Exit 12 off the M7. When you arrive, you’ll find plenty of free car parking. Visit the AA Roadwatch website for more travel information.
By BusDublin Coach provide a race day service from Dublin City Centre (Burgh Quay), Dublin Airport, Belfast, Limerick, Killarney Ennis and Tralee, also stopping in Newbridge, Naas, Kildare Town, Monasterevin and PortlaoiseSee www.dublincoach.ie.
By RailMainline trains from Heuston Station (Dublin), Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway to Kildare Town with complimentary shuttle bus to the racecourse. Call Iarnród Éireann at: +353 (0) 1 836 6222.
The Curragh Racecourse
Check out ticket types for the Curragh
Longines Irish Champions Weekend
Complete Hotel, Transport & Ticket Packages from only €149 pp