Everything is set at the Curragh for another exciting season which kicks off this Sunday 29th March, with the Tote Irish Lincolnshire taking centre stage at the first of nineteen race days in 2015.
The 100,000 euro contest is one of four high profile handicaps which the Tote will sponsor at the Co. Kildare venue this year.
Details of the season ahead were announced at a reception at the K Club this evening which was attended by some of the country’s leading jockeys and trainers.
The 150th running of the Irish Derby will be the pinnacle of the season and there are extensive plans to celebrate Ireland most iconic race in style on Saturday 27th June. A number of initiatives will also take place to celebrate this historic event including a significant reduction in the Irish Derby Day admission price to 30 euro (40 euro in 2014), or 25 euro if purchased in advance of the race day. A special Derby Day admission ticket to include Free Dublin Coach transport from Dublin City Centre is only 30 euro if purchased in advance.
Presentations will be made to the legends of the Irish Derby and invited guests include Mary Crosby, daughter of Bing Crosby whose colours were carried to success in the Irish Derby in 1965.
The Curragh have commissioned a book commemorating the 150th Irish Derby by Sean Magee with Guy Williams, Francis Hyland and Jacqueline O’Brien, which will be published by the Racing Post, while Kildare County Council have commissioned a magnificent piece of artwork which will be located in the centre of the roundabout at Ballymany and unveiled as a permanent installation in June.
Country music fans are in for a treat with Nathan Carter returning to perform after the last race on DoneDeal Derby Friday which kicks off the weekend, while an exciting Family Race Day on Sunday will be supported by Panda Waste Management for the first time and will also celebrate the close association between the racecourse and Defence Forces.
The Tattersalls Irish Guineas Festival taking place on 23rd and 24th May is the first major weekend of the summer season of racing. The two day fixture features the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday and the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas and Tattersalls Gold Cup on Sunday with a star studded line up expected for all three races. The weekend also features the first in a series of four high profile Ladies Days with the K Club, Cullen & Co Fine Jewellers and Irish Tatler teaming up to offer fantastic prizes for the Most Stylish Ladies and Men. Well known publisher and television presenter Norah Casey was at the Launch to announce details.
A star studded line up can be expected again during Irish Champions Weekend taking place at Leopardstown on 12th September and with the Curragh staging a magnificent day on 13th September. The Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger, Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, Moyglare Stud Stakes, Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Stakes and Derrinstown Stud Flying Five all feature among the 8 race programme at the Curragh.
The Darley Irish Oaks, consistently one of the world’s leading races for fillies and supported by the thoroughbred racing and breeding empire of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, Ruler of Dubai will again be one of the high points of the season and this year will also celebrate the achievements of the Irish rugby team as they prepare for the Rugby World Cup.
Admission prices for 2015 remain the same as last year and include free admission for under 16s at every race day together with concessions for seniors and Under 25s. Travel partners Dublin Coach and Irish Rail will continue to make the Curragh as accessible as possible offering services on all race days.
Paul Hensey, Curragh Racecourse General Manager, commented:
“We are looking forward to a very exciting season with the 150th Irish Derby giving us a great opportunity to celebrate our most famous race. We are particularly grateful to all our sponsors and partners whose support is greatly appreciated and has again helped us increase our prize money, ensuring we attract the best horses to compete in our races.”