President Michael D Higgins is to present the trophy to the winning owner at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday, June 29.
The president will be accompanied by his wife Sabina at the event, which last year attracted over 22,300 race-goers to the Curragh on Derby Day.
Other well known names confirmed to attend Derby Day include Gay Byrne, Daithi O’Se, Keith Duffy, Claire Byrne, Mary Kennedy, Alan Hughes, Celia Holman Lee Fair City’s Aoibhinn Garrihy, Brian Dowling, footballer Ronnie Whelan, legendary jockey Lester Piggott and UK-based television presenter Jeremy Kyle.
World-renowned Caragh soprano Celine Byrne will be joined by Brian Kennedy to perform the Curragh of Kildare before the Derby at 6.30pm on the Saturday evening of the three-day festival.
Coronation Street star Michelle Keegan will head the judging panel for the Dubai Duty Free Most Stylish Lady competition in association with Boodles. The winner will receive a Dubai holiday and a spectacular diamond ring from Boodles, while Whitewater Shopping Centre will present the none runners up with luxury goody bags. Ladies who want to compete should register in advance at www.curragh.ie or on the race day before 3pm.
There will be at least two Curragh-trained runners in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby: Sugar Boy trained by Patrick Prendergast and Little White Cloud trained by John Oxx.
Prendergast’s grandfather won the race four times including Ragusa and the legendary Meadow Court, whose owner Bing Crosby sang “When Irish Eyes are Smiling” from the presentation podium on the day.
The Derby Music village taking place on Derby Day will feature Delorentos, Original Rude Boys and special guest Brian Kennedy.
See this week’s Leinster Leader for your 12-page Irish Derby supplement, plus a chance to win tickets to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby.