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August 20, 2009

Star studded line up for Autumn Festival at the Curragh

Top class racing including the opportunity to see four times Ascot Gold Cup hero Yeats attempt to add this year’s Irish Field St Leger to his list of achievements and an exciting entertainment program featuring a major tribute to legendary trainer Vincent O’Brien will highlight the Autumn Festival of Racing at the Curragh taking place on 12th and 13th September.

Saturday’s seven race program features The Irish Field St Leger. Runners in the final Classic race of the 2009 season are likely to include Yeats, Profound Beauty, Ask, Schiaparelli and Geordieland. The race day will also promote the link between The Irish Field St Leger and Emirates Melbourne Cup, including the opportunity for one lucky race goer to win a trip to include VIP treatment at Australia’s greatest sporting event, while the Emirates Melbourne Cup will be on display, and 1993 Irish St Leger and Melbourne Cup hero Vintage Crop will be guest of honour.

Recent Phoenix Stakes winner Alfred Nobel and Cape Bianco will be aiming to give trainer Aidan O’Brien his eighth success in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.  This will be the inaugural year that the prestigious Group 1 contest commemorates the memory of legendary trainer Vincent O’Brien who won the race fifteen times with some of his greatest horses. A Celebration of Dr O’Brien’s life, organised by the Curragh in conjunction with Horse Racing Ireland, will take place throughout the race day including an exhibition of memorabilia open to the public and presentations to some of his closest associates.

Mrs. Jacqueline O’Brien commented: “Vincent enjoyed some of his greatest successes at the Curragh. The National Stakes was always a race held in high esteem by him as a target for his top 2 year olds. The family are delighted that the racecourse will honour his memory in this way and I know Vincent would have been very proud to have his name associated with this race.”  

A strong support program features the Group 2 Irish National Stud Blandford Stakes with entries including Classic winners Look Here and Again while other notable contenders include Mad About You, Lahaleeb and Heaven Sent.

Sunday’s feature on the track is the Irish Daily Mirror Renaissance Stakes with recent course winner Girouette expected to line up in the Group 3 contest, together with Group 1 winners, Bushranger Intense Focus while a strong British trained list of contenders include Benbaun, Lesson in Humility, Danehill Destiny, Undaunted Affair, Regal Parade and former Greek trained Ialysos. Other races include the Flame of Tara Stakes and Group 3 Solonaway Stakes, while other races will be supported by K & M Timber, Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital. The race day will also feature a major family day promotion.

Racecourse General Manager Paul Hensey commented, “The promise of an exceptional line up of top horses in the major races over the weekend and the opportunity to remember the remarkable career of Vincent O’Brien will hopefully be a major incentive to encourage people to come racing and enjoy two of the our very best days of the season.”

Admission 20 euro Saturday, 15 euro Sunday, Seniors and Students 50% discount, children under 15 free. 20% discount off all admissions on