The Curragh Racecourse has announced that Dubai Duty Free have extended their sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for a further two years. In addition, they have agreed to sponsor five additional races which will all benefit from significant increases in prize money.
The world’s leading airport retailer has been the title sponsor of Ireland's premier Classic since 2008 and this extension is a very welcome development for racing.
The three-day Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival returns to a weekend time slot on June 26, 27 and 28 and will showcase world-class racing and entertainment. In a new development this year, The Dubai Duty Free Village located in the new Curragh garden, over the three-day Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival, will provide a new entertainment venue close to the parade ring, offering an array of food and beverage outlets and a full programme of entertainment. Dubai Duty Free will also continue to sponsor the very popular most stylish racegoer competition with a 5-star Dubai holiday awarded to the winner.
Total prize money on Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Day on Saturday June 27 is increased from €2m in 2019 to €2.25m for 2020. In 2021 all races will increase to a minimum value of €100,000.
Dubai Duty Free will also continue to support the Irish Derby “Free Entry” initiative which is an incentive for owners to run their horses in the Curragh Classic. In addition to the existing races, the Dee Stakes and the Chester Vase at Chester Racecourse and the Prix De Lys in Longchamp have been added for this year.
Dubai Duty Free have also increased their support of stable staff, continuing to present a trophy to the groom whose horse wins a Dubai Duty Free sponsored race together with a cash prize for the best turned out horse in each of their races.
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said: “The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is a premium race meeting, generating global media coverage. Our title sponsorship of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is in line with our global strategy of promoting both our own duty free brand and the city of Dubai itself. This sponsorship enables us to reach our potential audience and to speak to them through the medium of exciting, premium sport.
“We have successfully sponsored the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for the past twelve years and we are happy to renew our sponsorship for another two years including this year, 2020 and 2021. We are very pleased that we have been able to grow this festival, with the help of our partners at the Curragh. The weekend is now much more than racing with various ancillary events happening off the track over the weekend including a golf classic, a charity lunch and lots of local community initiatives which we are proud to support. It has grown to become a ‘must visit’ festival and we are proud to be the title sponsor of this prestigious racing festival.”
Pat Keogh, The Curragh Racecourse Chief Executive, commented: “Dubai Duty Free have been outstanding partners of the Curragh and I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution that Colm McLoughlin and his team have made to the success of the Irish Derby since 2008. Their increased support across their six sponsored races for the next two years will ensure we can maximise the quality and competitiveness across all races.
“The 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby was the highest rated race in the World and our objective is to ensure we attract the very best three-year-old horses in Europe. The extension of the ‘Free Entry’ is a great initiative and will encourage owners and trainers to be part of Ireland’s greatest and most valuable horse race.”