26th June 2020
Magical to be star attraction at Curragh this Sunday
Multiple Champion Group One race winner Magical is one of five runners in the Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes, the feature race this Sunday, day 3 of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival. Declared runners were published this morning. The Aidan O’Brien trained mare will make her first start of the season, having won the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown and Champions Stakes at Ascot last year. O’Brien will also be represented by Fleeting.
Other contenders in the Group 1 contest are the Jessica Harrington trained Cheyenne Pepper. True Self trained by Willie Mullins and the Ger Lyons trained recent Gowran winner Roca Roma.
The Denis Hogan trained leading sprinter Make A Challenge features among the nine runners in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes. Challengers in the Group 2 contest also include Speak in Colours, Buffer Zone and Queen Jo Jo trained in Britain by Kevin Ryan.
Fifteen runners will line up in the ultra competitive Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap, while Napa Valley, Rebel Tale and Masteroffoxhounds feature among the eight runners in the Finlay Volvo Cars Race.
Tomorrow’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is set to be one of the most competitive in recent times. 15 horses remain in the race, the biggest field since 1977
Aidan O’Brien who has won Ireland’s premier Classic thirteen times will have a strong team to represent him with 6 runners including recent Royal Ascot winner Santiago who is the current ante post favourite
His son Joseph will try to win the race for a second time having won with Latrobe in 2018. He will be represented by the unbeaten Crossfirehurricane, while New York Girl who finished fourth in the recent Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas was added into the race earlier this week as a supplementary entry at a cost of €50,000. He also has Curragh recent winner Galileo Chrome in the race.
Fiscal Rules will represent Jim Bolger, who has won the race twice with St Jovite and Trading Leather.
Jessica Harrington will attempt to become the first female trainer to win the race with Gold Maze who finished runner up in the recent Coolmore Ten Sovereigns Gallinule Stakes.
This year’s race will be particularly significant for trainers with first Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby runners, Donnacha O’Brien with Sherpa, Ger Lyons with Chiricahua, Andy Slattery with Sunchart and Emmet Mullins with King of Thrones with will be a first ride in the race for jockey Rachael Blackmore. Other jockeys having their first ride in the race are Colin Keane, Edward Greatex, Michael Hussey, Billy Lee, Emmet McNamara, while Ben Coen and Shane Crosse will not only have their first ride but also try to become the youngest jockey to win the race
The festival kicks off this evening with a competitive eight race programme featuring the TRM Fillies Handicap and extra.ie Apprentice Derby.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival will be run from this Friday to Sunday 26th to 28th June behind closed doors due to Irish government protocols.
Full entries on www.hri-racing.ie
The Ground at The Curragh is as follows:
Following 2.5 mm of rain overnight and selective watering, the ground is Good.
Monitoring situation regarding further watering.
Mainly dry today. Unsettled conditions thereafter with the possibility of up to 15mm of rain between tonight and Sunday.
Racing on stand side track. Stalls in centre for all sprints.
For all the latest news on the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival including details of creating your own Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at home and virtual Style competition in association with evoke.ie, see
How to view the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
Racing will be shown live on RTE on all 3 days; Friday from 7pm to 8pm, Sat 6pm to 8pm, Sun 3pm to 5pm
Racing TV will show all races to an extensive international audience live over the three days.
ITV4 will show the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes & Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes and recorded highlights of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.
Fox Sports (US) will show live coverage of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for the first time attracting a potential audience of 100 million viewers, while the Green Channel in Japan will also take live coverage of the race for the first time which is available in 40 million home
Extensive international coverage of the Irish Derby also includes broadcasters in North and South America, plus the Caribbean, include TVG (US); CBC, HPI (Canada); ESPN (Latin America, Caribbean) and SportsMax (Caribbean).
Europe will also be served; TV Poland, National Sports Channel (Russia); SilkNet (Georgia), SSport TV (Turkey) and Equidia (France).
Australasia is covered by Sky Racing Thoroughbred Central (Australia), plus Trackside (New Zealand). Tellytrack will broadcast in South Africa, while 17 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region will be served by live coverage from the Dubai Racing Channel. Yas TV in Abu Dhabi will also broadcast a dedicated live programme on Irish Derby Day.
Digital Race card
The Curragh will produce a free racecard on all 3 days working in conjunction with Weatherbys and will be published here https://www.curragh.ie/dubai-duty-free-irish-derby