Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival | The Curragh Racecourse
Saturday 25th June - Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival

Saturday 25th June - Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival

2.00 Dubai Duty Free Dash 

2.30 Dubai Duty Free Summer Fillies Handicap

3.05  GAIN Railway Stakes (Group 2)

3.45 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1)

4.20 ARM Holding International Stakes (Group 3)

4.50 Dubai Duty Free Celebration Stakes

5.25 Dubai Duty Free Derby Festival Handicap

5.55  Dubai Duty Free Handicap

*Race times are subject to change



The highlight of the Irish flat racing season, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is one of the great race days in global horse racing.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Weekend is three days of top quality racing showcasing the best that Ireland has to offer. The iconic festival is one of Ireland's biggest social and sporting occasions, a whirl of music, dancing, fashion and racing that attracts some of the world's top horses and jockeys. 

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby History

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)

SEAMIE HEFFERNAN with 4 wins: Soldier of Fortune (2007), Frozen Fire (2008), Capri (2017) & Santiago (2020)

JOHNNY MURTAGH with 4 wins: Sinndar (2000), Alamshar (2003), Fame And Glory (2009) & Cape Blanco (2010)

LEADING TRAINER (since 1990)

AIDAN O’BRIEN with 13 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), Sovereign (2019) & Santiago 2020) 

2020 Winner

Horse Santiago

TRainer A.P. O'Brien

Rider S. Heffernan

Owner Smith/Magnier/Tabor

The Railway Stakes is one of the oldest two-year-old races in the country having first been run in 1851. From 1973 through to 2002 
it held Group 3 status and since then it has been run as a Group 2 contest. It is the premier domestic trial for the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes run in August and since 2005 6 horses have won both races – George Washington (2005), Holy Roman Emperor (2006), Mastercraftsman 
(2008), Alfred Nobel (2009), Sudirman 2013 and Siskin (2019).  
LEADING RIDERS (since 2000)
MICHAEL KINANE with 3 wins: Rock Of Gibraltar (2001), Hold That Tiger (2002) & Antonius Pius
RYAN MOORE with 3 wins: Formosina (2010), Painted Cliffs (2015) & Van Beethoven (2018)
AIDAN O’BRIEN with 11 wins: Honours List (2000), Rock Of Gibraltar (2001), Hold That Tiger (2002), Antonius Pius (2003), George Washington (2005), Holy Roman Emperor (2006), Lizard Island (2007), Mastercraftsman (2008), Alfred Nobel (2009), Painted Cliffs (2015) & Van Beethoven (2018).
A.R.M Holding International Stakes (GROUP 3)
Originally held in the Phoenix Park and run as the Whitehall Stakes, this race transferred to the Curragh in 1991. At various points it has been run over a mile and also nine furlongs but since 2010 it has been staged over its current distance of ten furlongs. At one time the race held Group 2 status but it has been run as a Group 3 since 2004.
Two of the recent winners of the race have gone on to enjoy notable success in Australia with the 2018 scorer Yucatan scoring at Group 2 level in the Southern Hemisphere while the 2017 scorer Johannes Vermeer was beaten just half a length in that year’s Melbourne Cup. 
Between them Aidan O’Brien and Dermot Weld have dominated this race in recent times and Emmet Mullins and Ralph Beckett are the only other trainers to have won this race since 2008.
Leading rider (since 2000)
Pat Smullen with 5 wins: Moonlight Dance (2005), Famous Name (2009), Precious Gem (2010), Famous Name (2011) & Famous Name (2012)
Leading trainer (since 2000)
Aidan O’Brien with 7 wins: Century City (2002), Plan (2008), Flying The Flag (2013), Mekong River (2014), Sir Isaac Newton (2016), Johannes Vermeer (2016) & Yucatan (2018).

Where to watch

RACING TV show every race live which you can watch on your TV, tablet or mobile. For more information and to create an account, visit the Racing TV website.

RACING REPLAYS If you missed any of the action, you can watch all the replays here and on The Curragh Twitter and Facebook.

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