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10 Glorious Years Of The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
(26 June 2017)


It has been 10 years since Dubai Duty Free first became the title sponsor of Ireland’s most historic flat race, and the company’s commitment to turning it into one of Europe’s premier sporting events has seen the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby go from strength to strength year on year.

Taking place on Saturday, July 1st at the Curragh Racecourse, the 2017 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is sure to herald another fantastic day at the storied Kildare racecourse.

Last year the prize money was increased to an eye-watering €1.5 million, further reinforcing the fact that this is an event that Dubai Duty Free are supremely committed to by investing time, energy and money into Ireland’s oldest annual sporting spectacle.


There has been no shortage of jaw-dropping moments over the 10 years of Dubai Duty Free’s sponsorship, with Clane jockey Seamie Heffernan winning the race at his local track when riding Frozen Fire for Aidan O’Brien in Dubai Duty Free’s first year of sponsorship in 2008. The memorable moments kept flowing and another standout performance was when the brilliant Camelot completed an Epsom Derby and Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby double for the horse and trainer Aidan O’Brien. Camelot’s win also marked the first time the famous race was run on a Saturday as it switched from its traditional Sunday slot. A year later, Trading Leather stormed to victory under Kevin Manning to give Jim Bolger a victory in the race for the first time since his 1992 triumph with St Jovite. Last year was just as spectacular as Dermot Weld’s Harzand won under jockey Pat Smullen, fending off old rival Idaho to land a brilliant victory following a thrilling duel between the pair.

Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin, said, “The 10 years that we have been sponsoring the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby have been wonderful for Dubai Duty Free and very successful for our business. It is great to be involved with a race of this prestige for such a long period of time, and we have seen it go from strength to strength each year. The new development at the Curragh will be fantastic and I’m looking forward to seeing the finished project in 2019.”

There is much more to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby than just the horse racing however and there are numerous events that take place around Kildare in the week building up to the race as locals get involved in the festivities.


Spreading its arm to towns surrounding the Curragh, Dubai Duty Free strive to get the business community involved by delivering bunting to premises around Newbridge and Kildare Town to bring out the colour in both towns and giving them an opportunity to enter the Best Dressed Shop Front competition. The winners will receive €1,500 and VIP hospitality at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby in the Dubai Duty Free VIP private suite, while second place will get €1,000 and third place will receive a prize of €500.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Golf Classic, which will be held at The K Club on Thursday 29th June, is the first event that really gets the week’s festivities going as golfers get the opportunity to play on the Ryder Cup course which played host to the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and, of course, the unforgettable 2006 Ryder Cup. The four-person team event gives amateur golfers the chance to play on one of Europe’s best courses, and the winning group will then be invited to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Saturday where they can enjoy full hospitality courtesy of Dubai Duty Free in their own, private VIP suite.

The Five AA Red Star K Club hotel also hosts the hugely successful Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Ball on Friday 30th June and it has raised more than €230,000 for local charity the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation in the past three years. This year is set to be just as spectacular with a myriad of different entertainment lined up for the evening.

Aside from the racing and giving back to charities in the local area, the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is synonymous with glamour and style. The Dubai Duty Free Most Stylish Lady competition will also run on Saturday, the 1st of July and the best dressed lady will be awarded with a trip of a life time, courtesy of the airport retailer. The lucky lady will win a luxury trip to Dubai, staying in the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel, in addition to a €1,000 Dubai Duty Free spending spree. To make the trip even more memorable, the winner will relax and unwind for a night of 5 Star accommodation at The K Club, before jetting off to Dubai. She and her guest will be chauffeur driven to the airport as they depart and on their return for a second night in the K Club, the winner will be in for a luxurious treat!

A long-time supporter of major sporting events that help to promote Dubai as a leading destination, Dubai Duty Free is proud to be the title sponsor of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. For more see www.curragh.ie

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