This weekend features the highly anticipated Longines Irish Champions Weekend, featuring some of Europe's finest thoroughbred horses and races alike. Spread over two days, 9th & 10th September, the weekend features racing from both Curragh and Leopardstown racecourse.
You’d be forgiven to think these racecourses were within close proximity to each other (everyone else in the office did) - like a Sandown to Epsom distance. However, in reality they’re quite a distance apart.
Nonetheless, racing fans from all over Ireland & the rest of the world will be sure to descend on the 2 day spectacle. This is certainly a weekend we’ve all been looking forward to for quite a while with 10 group races, 5 of which are group 1.
With the prize money exceeding €4.6 million over the two days, this makes it one of Europe's (and the world's) richest racing festival. Arguably, this is the biggest date in the Irish racing calendar! However, the weekend is more than just about the racing; it’s about the fashion, fun, elegance and excitement of it all.
Day one racing kicks off at the historic Leopardstown racecourse. Leopardstown is located on the outskirts of the Irish capital, Dublin, and is six miles south of the city centre. Any weekend to Dublin is one to remember for the rest of your life and one I would highly recommend you check out. The racecourse itself was completed in 1888 after being modelled on the notorious Sandown Park racecourse in Surrey (one for the pub quiz!)
The feature race of the day is the QIPCO Irish Champions Stakes - which is currently the highest rated turf race on the world! Not only this, but the prize money for the day stands at an eye watering €2.3 million. This is certainly a wonderful Irish sporting occasion not to be missed.
After the racing in the daytime, the evening will be one to look forward to. Dublin city centre will be full of racegoers alike looking for a fantastic evening. The humour and friendliness of the city will overwhelm you upon first arrival. Be warned, don’t get too carried away with the evening as you have another race meet to attend the following day!!!
After a good night's sleep (or not so good depending on how much you have drank), the following day features some more fantastic racing from Curragh. Whilst you nurse your hangover with some fantastic hospitality you may wish to browse over your race card, and you’ll be in for a treat. The feature race of the day is the Irish Champions Stakes. Churchill seems to be the one to beat here with the bookies already placing him to clinch victory at 4/5. Seems a bit short if you ask me as there is some healthy competition in the form of Highland Reel and Winter.
Nonetheless, this weekend is one I’m ecstatic about and one I will certainly be tuning into. What’s even better is it is still not too late to book! Racing Breaks have some fantastic deals for everyone’s needs with overnight packages starting from just £99! Check it out here.