Exciting new additions to this year's Kildare Derby Festival

41 years running and still going strong

Leinster Leader reporter


Leinster Leader reporter



Exciting new additions to this year's Kildare Derby Festival

Pat Smullen with a Circus Gerbola performer

Kildare Derby Festival kicks off for its 41st year with some new event additions in 2019 which will certainly pique the interest of the racing enthusiast.

On Tuesday June 25 some of Ireland’s racing legends like John Oxx, Johnny Murtagh, Dermot Weld, Christy Roche, Pat Smullen and Seamus Heffernan with MC Dessie Scahill will come together in Studio One at the Silken Thomas, Kildare town to relive the various successes of our legends in past Irish Derbies. 

This night is a must for racing enthusiasts old and new so don’t miss this rare opportunity to meet some of Irish racing’s best known legends and champions. Tickets €10 plus booking fee and can be booked online. A contribution from the ticket sales will be made to the Irish Injured Jockey’s fund and the Trainers Benevolent Fund.  

On Wednesday June 26th Kildare town’s first ever Curragh Racing Memorabilia Exhibition will take place in Kildare town’s former courthouse. It’s an exclusive opportunity to view rarely seen memorabilia of great trainers, owners, jockeys and racing families from The Curragh. Racing colours, video footage, racecards, saddles and much more will be available to view at this exhibition. R.A.C.E and the Irish National Stud will also be in attendance showcasing their education programme for apprentice jockeys and stud management programme. A farrier exhibition will take place on selected dates where visitors can see the highly skilled art of shoeing and admission is free. 

On Thursday June 27th racing takes place at the Curragh Racecourse with the first race at 5.45pm, on Friday June 28th the first race is at 3:15pm featuring the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes and on Saturday June 29th the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby takes place with the first race at 1.45pm with the Irish Derby off at 5.20pm

On Saturday June 29th after the Dubai Duty Free Derby a unique event is taking place in Kildare Town Square with the Paddy Power Lip Sync Battle starting at 7:30pm. Trainers, jockey’s, stable staff and Paddy Power ambassadors will take to the stage and battle it out with their voices. Who will be the 2019 champion? Place your bets!

Sunday June 30th sees the launch of the inaugural Irish Derby Legends Walk which starts at 2pm from the Irish National Stud. This 2.4KM walk has 12 furlong markers along with signage detailing some of the Irish Derby winners over the last 100 years and their unique stories.  The walk ends in Kildare town where the Irish Turf Club first met in 1790 to put together the rules and regulations to administer the sport of horse racing in Ireland.

Over 18 different events are taking place throughout Kildare Derby Festival which launches on Friday June 21st until Sunday June 30th. For details on all the ticketed and free events visitwww.kildarederbyfestival. ie. The festival is kindly supported by Kildare County Council, the Curragh Racecourse and Into Kildare (Kildare’s tourism body).