The Curragh will honour both Lester Piggott and Kevin Manning at their race day on Sunday 16th April.
The inaugural running of the Lester Piggott Gladness Stakes, sponsored by Jamie Piggott Bloodstock, will be one of the highlights of the eight-race programme.
The race day will also feature a unique exhibition celebrating the career of Lester Piggott. Curated by racing memorabilia collector Nick O’Toole, the exhibition will showcase a variety of fascinating mementos associated with the legendary jockey. The Lester Piggott exhibition will take place on Level 1 of the Curragh grandstand and will include trophies, race cards, paintings, statues, prints and photographs.
Piggott enjoyed many successes at the Curragh winning 16 Irish Classic races between 1965 and 1981 including the Irish Derby on Meadow Court (1965), Ribocco (1967), Ribero (1968), The Minstrel (1977) and Shergar (1981).
The association with the Gladness Stakes is very appropriate as not only did he ride Gladness to some of her most famous successes including the Ascot Gold Cup, the Goodwood Cup and the Ebor Handicap at York, but he also rode Minsky, Apalachee, Night Alert to victory in the race.
The Curragh unveiled a magnificent statue of the iconic jockey, which is located close to the parade ring, just before he passed away last May.
Tracy Piggott commented, “The Piggott family are delighted that this special race is now being named after our father Lester. We have some great memories of him winning at the Curragh, and it was so fitting to unveil his statue there last May. He always said that the Curragh was probably one of the best tracks he had ever ridden on during his very long career. We hope that everyone will enjoy the memories and memorabilia as much as we do”.
In addition, on April 16th, The Curragh will also honour the riding career of Kevin Manning who retired late last year after an outstanding career in the saddle. He enjoyed many of his greatest victories at the County Kildare venue riding mainly for his father in law Jim Bolger, including Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby success on Trading Leather, together with further Classic race wins on Finsceal Beo and Pleascach in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas and Margarula in the Irish Oaks, while the impressive roll of honour of his many other Group 1 victories featured New Approach, Dawn Approach and Teofilo in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and Perfect Imposter in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
Curragh CEO, Brian Kavanagh commented, “Kevin has had a remarkable career as a jockey at the highest level and we could not let his retirement pass without marking it here at the Curragh – he rode his first ever winner here at the Curragh in April 1983 and very few sportsmen get to retire after forty years of competing at the top of their profession. Kevin’s dedication and skill were widely admired and we are delighted to be able to recognise his career here with family, friends, fellow jockeys and racegoers,”
Admission: €15 (early bird offer), €20 on day.
Under 18s free accompanied by an adult
Free shuttle bus from Kildare Town and Newbridge