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September 01, 2010

Classic Racing and Family Fun at Curragh Autumn Festival

The Autumn Festival of Racing taking place at the Curragh on 11th and 12th September combines exceptional racing with great fashion, food and fun over two days.

The Irish Field St Leger takes centre stage on Saturday with some of Europe’s top middle distance performers battling for success in the final Classic race of the year. Potential runners include Ascot Gold Cup hero Rite of Passage, Profound Beauty, Melbourne Cup runner up Pop Rock, recent Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes winner San Frontieres and the Godolphin owned Kitwood. The Group 1 contest is established as one of the premier trial races in the world for the Emirates Melbourne Cup and there will be an opportunity for one lucky person to win a holiday of a lifetime to attend Australia’s greatest race. The Group 1 National Stakes and the inaugural running of the Curragh Amateur Riders Derby will also be part of a star studded line up.

Saturday of the Festival is now established as one of the most fashionable days in the Autumn racing calendar. Think “Absolutely Fabulous” as the association with one of the world’s premier champagne brands has risen the profile of the day, whereby it is now an important date in the social diary. Bollinger in conjunction with K Club will present some exciting prizes to the ladies judged to be wearing the Most Stylish Hats on the day.

Sunday is the ultimate family race day with top class racing featuring the Group 2 Blandford Stakes combined with lots of free activities for young children courtesy of K Bowl, including giant WII games, face paintings, reptile zoo, live music from Johnny Peters and free candy floss. There will be a strong sporting theme to include exhibition games  with children from sports clubs, while there will be a re-enactment by Royston Boxing Club of the historic boxing match between Dan Donnelly and George Cooper which took place on the Curragh in 1815, plus it is hoped to have Dan Donnelly’s legendary arm on display.

The Curragh in association with the Independent Brewers and Distillers of Ireland has brought together some of Ireland’s finest micro brewers to showcase their products in order to create a special event as part of the Festival. This will take place over both days in the new Garden Enclosure close to the parade ring.  The Thorough-Brew Village will give anyone attending the races the opportunity to purchase and sample a variety of great beers.  Some of those taking place include the Porterhouse from Dublin, White Gypsy from County Tipperary, Franciscan Well from Cork, the Galway Hooker, Hilden Brewery from Belfast, Dungarvan Brewing company from County Waterford, Trouble Brewing from County Kildare, Craigavon based Clanconnell Brewing, Whitewater Brewing Company from Co. Down, Carlow Brewing company, Beoir Corca Dhuibhne Brewing Company from the Gaeltacht in Co. Kerry, together with Double L Cider, Bunratty Mead and whiskey from the well famous Cooley Distillery.

The Curragh Racecourse in association with Horse Racing Ireland will celebrate the magnificent achievements of HRI’s 2010 Flat Ambassador Michael Kinane by staging an exhibition of his racing successes taking place in the Bollinger Champagne Bar. Kinane is the only jockey who can claim wins in all the major European Group Ones as well as in the Belmont Stakes, the Breeders’ Cup, the Japan Cup, the Hong Kong Cup and the Melbourne Cup. This exhibition will honour Kinane’s many successes over three decades with a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a magnificent collection of memorabilia which will highlight his legendary career.

K Bowl will present a trophy to the leading trainer stable of the Festival and a bowling party for 18 of their staff.