The Curragh launched their 2020 racing season and acknowledged some of the outstanding achievements during 2019, at a reception which took place at the racecourse last evening
Trainer Denis Hogan and jockey Billy Lee were the big winners of the evening as they were awarded the leading ‘Training and Riding Performances of the Year’ in association with The Irish Field, having been selected by an open vote on social media
Hogan trained Make a Challenge to win three times at the Curragh most notably in the Waterford Testimonial Stakes, while Billy Lee’s ride on One Cool Poet in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Northfields Handicap ensured him of the overall riding performance award
The Aidan O’Brien trained Magical was crowned Curragh Horse of the Year having won both the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Coolmore Highland Reel Moorebridge Stakes.
A Special Achievement Award was presented to Donnacha O’Brien to acknowledge his outstanding riding career and many successes at the Curragh including the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Latrobe.
Details of a variety of new initiatives were also announced during the evening. These included a new look 2020 Curragh Membership offering great savings on admission to 20 race meetings and a fantastic range of benefits including exclusive access to a private lounge on level 1 of the grandstand. Adult membership €265, Senior’s & Under 25’s €210, Adult seat membership €560, Seniors & Under 25’s seat membership €505.
A number of changes will be made next season to the grandstand including the launch of The Lilywhites Lounge located on Level 2 overlooking the winning line which will be open to the public
A variety of themes have been added to race days next year to broaden their appeal including style, music, family, community and a student race day as the finale of the season.
Pat Keogh, CEO of the Curragh Racecourse also commented: “We have witnessed excellent racing and great performances throughout our 2019 season with many fantastic memories as we celebrated the historic first season in the new Curragh. This new world class facility had many highlights during the year. but the running of the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland truly caught the public’s imagination and will live long in the memory.”
He added “We had the opportunity to see some of the best horses in the world compete and I would like to particularly commend that Curragh team for going to such great lengths to provide the best ground possible to help us attract the top horses following a very challenging year weather wise”.