Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby | The Curragh Racecourse
Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby

The highlight of the Irish flat racing season, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day combines world-class racing with a wonderful social occasion of local, national and international racegoers. Irish Derby Day is one of the great race days in global horse racing.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Weekend is a three-day festival on the 26th, 27th and 28th June, is three days of top quality racing showcasing the best that Ireland has to offer. 

Dubai Duty Free support the Irish Derby “Free Entry” initiative which is an incentive for owners to run their horses in the Curragh Classic.

Dubai Duty Free have support stable staff, a trophy to the groom of the winners of their sponsored races, together with cash prizes for the grooms of the horses judged to be best turned out.

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day 2020 - Schedule of Races

4.15    Dubai Duty Free maiden
4.45    Dubai Duty Free Alleged Stakes
5.15    Dubai Duty Free hdcp
5.45    Dubai Duty Free Celebration Stakes, Listed
6.15    Dubai Duty Free Handicap
6.45    GAIN First Flier Stakes, Listed
7.15    Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, Group 1
7.45    Comer Group International Vintage Crop Stakes, Group 3

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby


The Irish Derby is the third and most important Irish Classic and Group 1 of the Flat season. Run over a distance of one mile and four furlongs at the Curragh, it is open to three-year-old colts and fillies. Many horses which have previously contested the 2,000 Guineas in Ireland, England and France and the English and French Derbies traditionally come to the Curragh for the Irish Derby.

The first running of the Irish Derby took place in 1866 and was won by the English raider Selim who struck for trainer Tom Cliff after accounting for just two rivals. Cliff supplied the winner again the following year and to date English raiders have enjoyed 53 victories in the race. From 1866 until 1871 the Irish Derby was run over a mile and three quarters before reverting to its present distance. The first horse to complete the Epsom-Irish Derby double was Orby – the first Irish-trained winner of the Epsom race – in 1907. After its prizemoney was substantially increased in 1962 (when it was first run as the Irish Sweeps Derby), the race began to attract stronger fields and in 1964 Santa Claus became the second dual Derby winner. Thus far a total of 18 horses have won both the Epsom and Irish Derbys.

Epsom and Irish Derby winners:

  • Orby (1907)
  • Santa Claus (1964)
  • Nijinsky (1970)
  • Grundy (1975)
  • The Minstrel (1977)
  • Shirley Heights (1978)
  • Troy (1979)
  • Shergar (1981)
  •  Shahrastani (1986)
  • Kahyasi (1988)
  • Generous (1991)
  • Commander In Chief (1993)
  • Sinndar (2000)
  • Galileo (2001)
  • High Chaparral (2002)
  • Camelot (2012)
  •  Australia (2014)  
  •  Harzand (2016)

There have been two dead heats in the Irish Derby. Haine and Zodiac were inseparable in 1924 and ten years later the honours were shared between two more English runners in Patriot King and Primero. Easily the biggest surprise in the race’s history came in 1954 when Zarathustra sprang a 50/1 surprise for Michael Hurley and Paddy Powell. Subsequently Zarathustra won the Irish St. Leger and he proved himself an outstanding stayer in the coming years with his victories headed by the 1957 Ascot Gold Cup. The largest Irish Derby field went to post in 1962 when Tambourine II defeated 23 rivals to become the first French-trained winner of a race whose prizemoney had increased sevenfold on 1961. There have been seven more French-trained winners since then with the last coming when Hurricane Run prevailed in 2005.

LEADING RIDER (since 1990)
JOHNNY MURTAGH with 4 wins: Sinndar (2000), Alamshar (2003), Fame And Glory (2009) and Cape Blanco (2010).

LEADING TRAINER (since 1990)
AIDAN O’BRIEN with 12 wins: Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Dylan Thomas (2006), Soldier Of Fortune (2007), Frozen Fire (2008), Fame And Glory (2009), Cape Blanco (2010), Treasure Beach (2011), Camelot (2012), Australia (2014), Capri (2017) and Sovereign (2019).