Alice in Wonderland family theme at next Sunday's Irish Champions weekend at the Curragh Racecourse

Dermot Weld to be honoured

Niamh O'Donoghue


Niamh O'Donoghue


Alice in Wonderland family theme at next Sunday's Irish Champions weekend at the Curragh Racecourse

There will be an Alice in Wonderland theme in the new family enclosure

The Curragh launch is launching a new Family Friendly Fun Enclosure for next weekend’s Longines Irish Champions Weekend. 

Day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend on Sunday September 10 is set to be an exciting finale to the 2017 season at The Curragh.   

The Family Friendly Enclosure will be located in the In Field of the racecourse with views of all the racing action and accessible to anyone with a race day admission ticket. 

READ MORE: New family enclosure to be launched at the Curragh Racecourse

The Enclosure will feature a mix of family friendly fun entertainment including Alice in Wonderland themed shows with special guests Alice, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, Giant Games Zone, Horse Racing Zone with simulator, Reptile Zoo, face painting and lots more, together with a high quality food and beverage area

Derek McGrath, CEO of The Curragh said: “We feel that the new enclosure will greatly enhance the customer experience and provide a really fun area for families to enjoy what promises to be a magnificent day to showcase the very best that horse racing has to offer and a fitting highlight to finish our 2017 season.”

SEE ALSO: Curragh Racecourse revamp to be finished by Christmas 2018

Family tickets are just €50 and all children’s entertainment is free once inside the racecourse

Racegoers are advised to book tickets for day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend in advance to avoid disappointment.

Meanwhile, on the track, horses trained by Aidan O’Brien head the market for three of the major races taking place on Day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, while the Sir Michael Stoute trained Expect Eye has been installed as favourite for the Goffs Vincent Obrien National Stakes.  The clash of Big Orange and Order of St George is certain to be one of the highlights on the track.

Sunday will be a nostalgic day for many regular Curragh racegoers as it will mark the final time that the current Champagne Bar will be in operation before it is demolished as part of the Curragh development project.

Contractors will be on site to commence the construction of the new Curragh shortly after the finale of the season next Sunday.  Progress on the relocation of the historic Queen’s Room is well on schedule and can be seem from the Garden Plaza in the racecourse enclosure.

The Curragh Thoroughbred Trail kicks off prior to racing with the public having the unique opportunity to visit some of the leading stable yards, stud farms and other equine establishments around the Curragh.

There are eight trails to choose from and include visits to Godolphin’s Kildangan Stud, The Irish National Stud, legendary trainers Dermot Weld and John Oxx, veterinary establishments Anglesey Lodge and Sycamore Lodge and many more.

The team of guides who will accompany the Trails include former jockeys Warren O’Connor and Gordon Power and former trainers Neil McGrath, Sandra Hughes and Jim Kavanagh

Tickets for some of the Trails are still available and must be purchased in advance.

Racegoers are in for a real treat to see many National Hunt champions together for the first time in the Parade of Champions taking place after the first race.

A number of these horses used the world famous Curragh Training Grounds in their preparations for big race successes. The impressive line up features Sizing John, winner of the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup, Our Duke, winner of the 2017 Irish Grand National and Champion Hurdler Hurricane Fly, together with multiple Grade One winner Un De Sceaux.

The Curragh will also continue the tradition of inviting the winner of the prestigious Racehorse to Riding Class at the Dublin Horse Show with Un Atout joining the parade, along with 2016 winner Forpadydeplasterer.

To highlight the close association between the Irish St Leger and Melbourne Cup, The Curragh will make a presentation to legendary trainer Dermot Weld to honour his achievements of winning the Irish St Leger on seven occasions and his two historic victories in the Melbourne Cup. 

The Curragh Chairman Padraig McManus will be joined by the Australian Ambassador to Ireland Richard Andrews and Neil Wilson, the CEO of the Victoria Racing Club

The Longines Prize For Elegance boasts an impressive prize fund with amazing prizes on offer for the most elegant lady and gent. The most elegant lady will receive an elegant timepiece from Longines and a Kildare Village €3,000 shopping experience to be spent at any of their luxury stores. 

She will also receive a year’s complimentary hairdressing at the David Marshall Hair Salon to the value of €2,000. The most elegant gent will win a Longines timepiece, a €2,000 shopping spree from Kildare Village and a €500 voucher to spend with David Marshall Hair salon. The runners will receive vouchers from both Kildare Village and David Marshall.

Judges will be Jennifer Stevens Editor of Irish Country Magazine, Stylist Ingrid Hoey, leading jockey and assistance trainer Kate Harrington, Laura Marshall and Maxin de Turckheim representing Longines

There will also be a number of music performances on stage throughout the day including the Newbridge Gospel Choir, Dublin Welsh Male Voice Choir, members of the Army Band, Viva Manila and the grand finale will feature the Connor McKeon band, best known for his live performances on the Late Late Show who will perform after the last race at 6pm.

The Curragh has renewed its partnership with Childhood Cancer Foundation

In the month of September, International Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, a campaign will take place to colour the world GOLD to raise greater awareness for children who are currently fighting cancer and for those children who battled so valiantly. 

The Curragh is helping to promote this with a number of gold themed initiatives taking place during the race day to promote the “Light It Up Gold” campaign.