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September 21, 2009

Keeneland to Sponsor Phoenix Stakes


The Keeneland Association have agreed to a significant race sponsorship with the Curragh Racecourse. The world famous bloodstock sales company based in Lexington Kentucky will add their name to the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes from 2010.  The race, which was first run in 1902, is established as one of Europe’s most historic and prestigious races and the first Group 1 race of the year for juveniles to be run in Europe.  The race attracts some of Europe’s top owners, trainers and jockeys and has been won by numerous top class performers including George Washington, Turtle Island, and Breeders Cup winner Johannesburg, while multiple Group 1 winner Mastercraftsman was successful in the race in 2008. 

The agreement, which runs from 2010 to 2012, also includes the Group 2 Debutante Stakes and Group 2 Royal Whip, with the races scheduled to take place on Sunday 8th August next year.

Keeneland previously sponsored the International Stakes and Minstrel Stakes at the County Kildare venue.

“Expanding on our successful relationship we're pleased to have the opportunity to sponsor three prestigious graded races at The Curragh for the next three years”, said Keeneland president Nick Nicholson, ”Buyers from Ireland have been very faithful in their support of the Keeneland sales and we wish to show our appreciation.”

Paul Hensey, Curragh Racecourse General Manager commented, “We are very grateful to Keeneland for their very generous support of the Curragh and look forward to working with them to maximise all potential to attract the very best runners for all three races, while we will also assist them focus on attracting prospective Irish buyers to their Sales”.