Longines Irish Champion Weekend is the unmissable event of the year and takes place at Leopardstown on Saturday 15th and at the Curragh on Sunday 16th September 2018.
The weekend Features Ten Group races including Six Group 1 races Four of which are run at The Curragh. Showcasing the World’s best horses, trainers and jockeys, prize money at this event exceeds €4.6 million making it one of the richest and most glamorous meetings on the international racing calendar.
Longines Irish Champions Weekend is the sum of all parts – World class racing, elegant fashion, relaxed ambience, gourmet food and drink, with musical interludes set amidst beautifully dressed areas for socialising.
The Weekend will be action packed with the focus on showcasing Ireland as a world centre of excellence for horse racing and breeding.
Curragh set to stage Day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend
Final plans are being put together for Longines Irish Champions Weekend which takes place at Leopardstown on Saturday 15th September and then moves to the Curragh on Sunday 16th September.
Day 2 of the event will be a fitting finale of the Curragh season on Sunday with the focus of completing the new Curragh development for the remainder of the year to open next Spring. The race day will feature the final Classic race of the season, Comer Group International Irish St Leger with total prize money of 500,000 euro, together with three other Group 1 races – Moyglare Stud Stakes for the top fillies in Europe, Goffs Vincent OBrien National Stakes for the top colts in Europe and Derrinstown Stud Flying Five for the some of the fastest sprinters in Europe.
Race Day schedule
8.30-9.30 Thoroughbred Trail Registration
9.30 to 12/12.30 Curragh Thoroughbred Trails take place
11.30 Gates open to public
1 – 1.30 Paddy Power Winning Line – a panel of racing legends join Thom Malone and Robbie Irwin to give their thoughts on what horses to watch including Tom Nugent of Paddy Power and Joey Cullen of Goffs (parade ring)
1.30-1.40 Longines Prize of Elegance preview with our panel of judges (parade ring)
2 (1st race) EBF Bold Lad Premier Handicap 6f
2.35 (2nd race) Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes (Group 2)
3.05 (3rd race) Derrinstown Stud Flying Five (Group 1) (Army Band fanfare at presentation)
Defence Forces personnel accompany jockeys carrying Irish and Swiss flags
3.40 (4th race) Moyglare Stud Stakes (Group 1) (Army Band fanfare at presentation)
3.55 Longines Prize of Elegance for the Most Stylish Lady and Man Announced (North Plaza) with Brendan McArdle
4.15 (5th race) Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (Group 1) (Army Band fanfare at presentation)
Defence forces personnel carrying Irish Flag and Winning trophy accompany jockeys to parade ring
Jockeys greet Children associated with the Childhood Cancer Foundation carrying signs for each runner (Parade ring)
4.50 (6th race) Comer Group International Irish St Leger (Group 1) (Army Band fanfare at presentation)
5.25 (7th race) Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sales Stakes
6 (8th race) EBF Northfields Premier Handicap 10f
6.05 End of Season party featuring Hermitage Green in concert
Hermitage Green to perform
Hailing from Limerick, Hermitage Green have made a large impact on the international music scene. The Irish Acoustic Folk Rock Band that have toured in numerous countries all over the world and have played alongside the likes of Gavin James, Walking On Cars and The Pogues.
North Plaza Enclosure
The North Plaza Enclosure will be an exciting additional to the day with a variety of exciting entertainment for all the family to enjoy
Longines Prize of Elegance
Style enthusiasts both female and male will get a chance to showcase their style credentials and be in with a chance to win some incredible prizes on offer, including the overall Longines Prize for Elegance.
The Most Stylish Gentlemen and Lady will receive a luxury overnight stay for two people in The 5* Merrion Hotel including a Champagne Breakfast and Dinner with wine at The Garden Room Restaurant, a classic Longines timepiece from their latest collection, as well as many more amazing prizes. The judging panel is led by stylist to the stars Ingrid Hoey
Curragh Thoroughbred Trails
Details of six individual trails were announced for the 2018 Curragh Thoroughbred Trail, part of Longines Irish Champions Weekend and are now available to book online. This unique event, which takes place prior to racing at the Curragh on Sunday September 16, allows racing fans to go behind the scenes at many of the leading racing yards, stud farms and world-class equine establishments based around the famous Curragh plains.
The Curragh Thoroughbred Trail, supported by Horse Racing Ireland Ownership, will give the opportunity to visit the yards of Adrian Keatley, Willie McCreery, Michael Halford, Tracy Collins, Johnny Murtagh, Robbie McNamara, Dick Brabazon, Brendan Duke and James Nash in addition to meeting Dermot Weld and John Oxx out on the famous Curragh gallops. The world-famous Irish National Stud, Kildangan Stud, Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital, Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital and Racing Academy and Centre of Education are also included in the Thoroughbred Trails.
Each Trail will be accompanied by an expert Guide. Participates will enjoy complimentary breakfast sponsored by Horse Racing Ireland at the Curragh before Trails commence at 9.30am sharp
- DK Weld, Tracy Collins and Irish National Stud ( Sally Carroll)
- John Oxx, Brendan Duke, Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital (Jim Kavanagh)
- Michael Halford, Kildangan Stud (Sandra Hughes)
- Johnny Murtagh, RACE, Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital (Warren OConnor)
- Willie McCreery, ? , Dick Brabazon (Gordon Power)
*(Trail Guide in brackets)
The Curragh to partner with Childhood Cancer Foundation
The Curragh has renewed their partnership with Childhood Cancer Foundation for Day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend
In the month of September, International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign will take place to colour the world GOLD to raise greater awareness for children who are currently fighting cancer and for those children who battled so valiantly. The Curragh is helping to promote this at the races on Sunday 16th September with a number of gold themed initiatives taking place during the race day to promote the Light It Up Gold™ campaign. These include:
- Jockeys to wear stickers on their boots with the gold ribbon symbol signifying the campaign
- A horse trained by Jim Bolger to run in the Light it Up Gold racing colours
- Children associated with the Foundation to accompany jockeys to the parade ring in advance of the Comer Group International Irish St Leger
- Racegoers will be able to contribute to the campaign by purchasing a gold ribbon pin at the entrance/exit to the racecourse
- Childhood Cancer Foundation’s charity partner Emerald Garrison, Ireland’s Premier Star Wars Costuming Club will be present on the race day to lend their support.
Over 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland and this number is growing. During September’s Light It Up Gold ™Campaign, many well known buildings and landmarks will join with groups worldwide to raise awareness of Childhood Cancer.
Irish Champions of the Turf
The Curragh is delighted to feature a special tribute to some of the legendary jockeys and trainers who have been associated with some of the great winners of their four Group 1 races on day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend – the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, Moyglare Stud Stakes and Derrinstown Stud Flying Five. These include the legendary Lester Piggott and Michael Kinane .
Book admission to the races and trail online at http://www.irishchampionsweekend.ie
Press Accreditation must be applied for in advance.