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25 Sept 2022

Kildare: Curragh racecourse set for huge Autumn Festival weekend

Kildare: Curragh racecourse set for huge Autumn Festival weekend

Line Out, with Shane Foley up, on their way to winning the Irish Cesarewitch in 2021 at The Curragh Racecourse in Kildare. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

The Curragh will stage a packed programme of racing this weekend featuring the Goffs Million on Saturday and Friends of the Curragh Irish Cesarewitch on Sunday, while the Taste of Kildare will be an exciting addition for racegoers to enjoy over both days.

24 two-year-olds remain in the Goffs Million following the final forfeit entry stage yesterday morning, including 12 trained in Britain. Leading Irish trained contenders including Beauty Crescent, Bossy Parker, Hellsing, Impact Warrior, Queen of Ours and Hiawatha.

The Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes also features on Saturday and the Group 2 contest, won by Luxembourg last year, has attracted 12 entries including Denmark, Continuous, Victoria Road and Cairo who are among 7 entries trained by Aidan O’Brien. Other notable contenders are Crypto Force, Lakota Seven, Pivotal Trigger, Roaring Gallagher and Young Ireland.

Sunday’s eight race programme features the Friends of The Curragh Irish Cesarewitch with the valuable two-mile contest expected to have a maximum field of 30 runners. Master of Reality, Earl of Tyrone, Yaxeni, Echoes in Rain, Shanroe, Cleveland, French Claim, Gibraltar and Tax for Max feature among the entries, while British trained contenders include Earlofthecotswolds, Mostly Cloudy and Calling The Wind. 

The race is also one of the most innovative charity initiatives to take place between a sporting venue, it’s neighbouring businesses and local charities with the 30 runners matched with 30 bars from across the county who have in turn each selected a local charity or community group to benefit from a generous prize fund. Proceeds from the prize fund will go to the bars whose horses finish in the first 5 in one of the most competitive races in Europe.

There are 18 entries in the Weld Park Stakes with contenders for the Group 3 contest including Caroline Street, Pandora Lovegood, Madly Truly, Library and Keep in Touch trained by race sponsor Dermot Weld.

Betting partner of the weekend William Hill will sponsor eight races over both days including the valuable William Hill Joe McGrath Premier Handicap on Saturday with 21 entries featuring Gordon Bennett, Laugh A Minute, Strong Johnson and Urban Beat, while the Group 3 William Hill Renaissance Stakes on Sunday has 17 entries including Erosandpysche, Mooneista, Ana Syra and Dexter Belle, while a strong British trained challenge features Art Power, Fresh and Sam Maximus.

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