Curragh races upgraded by Horse Racing Ireland
January 19, 2015
Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) today announced a number of enhancements to the Irish Flat Pattern and Listed race programme, in addition to the Sprint Programme upgrades previously announced for the 2015 season.
The principal changes concern the further improvement of the programme for fillies and mares with the Lanwades Stud Stakes (registered as the Ridgewood Pearl) at the Curragh on Irish Guineas weekend being upgraded from Group 3 to Group 2, along with the creation of two new 12f Listed races at Cork in early April and Naas in mid-October.
Additionally, the Curragh Stakes staged at the Curragh in late August will be upgraded to Group 3. This race is ideally positioned in the both the domestic and international calendar and provides a first Group 3 race for Irish 2yo sprinters over the minimum trip.
Confirming the Pattern race enhancements, HRI’s Director of Racing, Jason Morris commented:
“HRI is delighted to have secured European agreement for all our proposed Irish upgrades in 2015. The promotion of the Ridgewood Pearl to Group 2 status and the creation of two new fillies Listed races over 12 furlongs will provide further encouragement to owners and trainers to put high quality mares in training in Ireland and to carry on racing them here beyond their three-year-old careers.”
“The promotion of the Curragh Stakes to Group 3 status, along with the previously announced upgrades to three older horse sprints (Greenlands, Sapphire and Flying Five) from Group 3 to Group 2 and the creation of the Lacken Stakes (Group 3, 3yo only) at Naas in early June, reinforces HRI’s commitment to improve the Irish sprinting programme, which will also see additional maiden race opportunities for both two and three-year-olds over the shorter distances in 2015.”