The final race day of 2014 took place at the Curragh last Sunday 12th October with a treble for the season’s leading trainer Aidan O’Brien. His 3 winners included the featured Irish Ceasarwitch, with the winner El Salvador ridden by Donnacha O’Brien, the 16 year old son of the trainer.
Aidan finished the season with 35 winners including five Group 1 races highlighted by Australia who gave him his 11th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby success, while his son Joseph was crowned leading jockey with 25 winners, including three Group 1 winners, which left him 12 ahead of his nearest rival Fran Berry with 13 winners.
Total Attendance for the season reached over 102,000 people highlighted by over 23,000 at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and just under 11,000 people at Irish Champions Weekend. A total of over 11.5 million euro was bet with tote and bookmakers on course
Paul Hensey, Curragh Racecourse General Manager commented, “
We have enjoyed a very successful year helped by very good weather. Competition throughout the season was helped by a large contingent of runners from Britain with 86 in total. These included Brown Panther, Kingman, Noble Mission, Cursory Glance and Thistle Bird who all won Group 1 races. Irish Champions Weekend was hugely positive for us and the success of the inaugural event has given us a real opportunity to develop the weekend even further next year”
Hensey added, “2015 will be a significant year for us with the 150th running of the Irish Derby taking place, while plans for the redevelopment of the racecourse will hopefully continue to progress positively. We are about to enter a consultative phase with various user groups which will assist with the overall design and functionality of the new facility.”
2014 has been another successful season for Curragh-based trainers at all levels and under all codes. Group 1 victories, multiple Group winners and numerous premier handicap victories, not to mention an array of memorable wins in the National Hunt sphere, Curragh-based trainers continue to punch above their weight on the domestic and international stages. Dermot Weld, Willie McCreery, Johnny Murtagh, Dessie Hughes and Paul Deegan all enjoyed major success, while there was plenty of promise from some of the youngest members of the Curragh training ranks. Michael O’Callaghan, Johnny Feane and Johnny Levins are all making a very serious impression and by all accounts, the future looks bright for the Curragh as a training centre with talents such as those based there.
The Curragh will stage 18 races in 2015 with the opening day on Sunday 29th March