PHOTO GALLERY: The launch of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse

Derby Day sold out

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Derby Day is already a sell-out at the Curragh this year.

With the venue operating at a reduced capacity of 6,000 due to its redevelopment, it was announced yesterday that ticket sales for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day on Saturday, July 1, have now reached capacity.

However, according to the Curragh, there are plenty of admission tickets still available for the Friday and Sunday.

This year's Derby, the tenth to be sponsored by Dubai  Duty Free, was launched at the Curragh Racecourse on Wednesday evening.

READ MORE: Packed programme of events for Kildare town's Derby Festival

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby takes centre stage at the Festival on Saturday, July 1, with the prospect of one of the most competitive races for many years.  

Epsom Derby hero Wings of Eagles looks set to attempt to give trainer Aidan O'Brien a remarkable 12th victory in the race and will renew rivalry with Cracksman owned by Anthony Oppenheimer and trained by John Gosden, who saddled Jack Hobbs to win the 150th running of the race in 2015 and the Martyn Meade trained Eminent who finished third and fourth.  All three horses qualify for the Irish Derby “free entry” initiative.

Irish Derby winning trainers Dermot Weld, Jim Bolger, John Oxx and Aidan O’Brien all attended the launch, in addition to Irish Derby winner jockeys Seamus Heffernan, Kevin Manning and Pat Smullen who rode Harzand to victory last year.

The 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby trophy was also unveiled. This magnificent piece of art was commissioned by Dubai Duty Free from County Kilkenny based artist Ani Molineau.  The trophy incorporates many symbols to highlight the strong relationship between Ireland and the United Arab Emirates.

Cullen & Co Jewellers have agreed to sponsor prizes to be presented to the leading owner, trainer and jockey of the Festival.

Derek McGrath, CEO of The Curragh Racecourse, commented: “The potential line up for the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby looks really promising and the prospect of having the Epsom Derby winner taking on the runner up from the French Derby will make the Irish Derby one of the top races in the world for three year olds.  There is a strong line up of entertainment to create a real festive atmosphere throughout the three days and we are pleased to support a number of initiatives to continue our strong association with the local community.”