HRI Announce Prize-Money Increases for Irish Champions Weekend

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has announced that the total prize-money for the 2015 Irish Champions Weekend, which takes place at Leopardstown and the Curragh on September 12th and 13th, has been increased to €4.03 million.

The Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 12th remains one of the highest-rated races on the international calendar and will be worth €1.1 million in 2015, an increase of €100,000 on last year. The total prize-money on offer at Leopardstown on the opening day of Irish Champions Weekend will be €2.13 million.

Three races at the Curragh on Sunday, September 13th have also been raised in value. The Derrinstown Stud Flying Five will be run as a Group 2 race for the first time and its prize-fund has been doubled from €100,000 to €200,000. The value of the Group 1 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger has increased from €300,000 to €350,000 and the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes also rises by €50,000 to €250,000. The total prize-money at the Curragh has risen by €200,000 to €1.9 million.

Four of the five Group 1 races on Irish Champions Weekend, the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger, the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes will close for initial entries on Wednesday, 27th May. The Group 1 Coolmore Matron Stakes will close for initial entries on Wednesday, 1st July, and five Group 1 races will close for secondentries on Wednesday, 5th August.

Brian Kavanagh, HRI Chief Executive, said, “As we aim to build on the success of the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend, we are delighted that the total prize-money on offer at both Leopardstown and the Curragh has been increased to €4.03 million this year. This is our flagship event for flat racing in Ireland and the weekend will continue to go from strength to strength.” LISTEN TO FULL INTERVIEW

Paul Hensey, Curragh Racecourse General Manager, said, “Irish Champions Weekend was one of the great success stories for the Curragh last year. The news that three of our races will receive a further boost in prize-money is very positive and will help ensure we attract the very best horses to compete in what is truly the showcase event for Irish flat racing. We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors and to Horse Racing Ireland for their additional support.”

Pat Keogh, Leopardstown Racecourse Chief Executive,
 said, “The QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes is always one of the races of the season and I’m delighted to see that the value of the race has risen to €1.1m. We could not have been happier with the way Irish Champions Weekend worked out last year and we continue to work hard to attract the best horses to Leopardstown. It is an exciting time for us as the start of the Flat season approaches and who knows what equine superstars will be on show come September.”