Irish Derby

Irish Derby ? Race Details:

When:
Late June or Early July
Track Location:
Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare
Race Distance:
1 mile 4 furlongs (2414 metres)
Race Status:
Group 1
Race Conditions:
Three-year-old colts and fillies
Stakes:
?1.5million
Inaugurated:
1866

The ?1.5million Irish Derby is the second leg of the Irish Triple Crown, and the richest of the three races that make up this coveted series. Run in late June or early July each year at the Curragh Racecourse, it is run over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs on a right-handed turf track. Only three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies, geldings excluded, may compete in this Group 1 flat race.

First run in 1866 when Selim claimed victory, the race is the Irish version of the English Derby Stakes and is held three weeks after this British event. Originally run over 1 mile and 6 furlongs, the race distance was cut to its current length in 1872 and it is the oldest of the five Irish Classics.

Many runners in the Irish Derby have come via the Epsom Derby Stakes in England, and this British counterpart is an excellent race for punters to gauge the form of the entries prior to placing their bets. 14 horses have won both the English and British versions of this race in the same season, the first was Santa Claus (1964) and the most recent horse to take out this Derby double was High Chaparral (2002). It is also a good tip to look at the top five finishers in the Epsom Derby when making your Place bets on the Irish Derby as a number of entries, although have not claimed victory, have placed in both of these esteemed Group 1 races.

Other excellent lead-up races held earlier in the season that help to uncover the top three-year-olds of the year include the first leg of the Triple Crown the Irish 2000 Guineas (1mile) and the Group 1 French Prix du Jockey Club (1mile 2 ? furlongs), which is the French equivalent to the race. Also watch for the winners and placegetters in the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Trial Derby (1m 2f) in May at Leopardstown, as many have gone on to see success in the Epsom and Irish Derbies. Because of the race?s profile and its international counterparts the field of runners is made up of not only the best local gallopers but elite contenders from Europe as well.

Aside from the three-year-olds? form, it is also important to keep an eye on the leading trainers who have participated in the English Classic races that season, and who have had previous success in the Irish Derby. The trainer who has dominated the Irish Derby scene in recent years is Aidan O?Brien boasting six wins since 1997. His entries often provide the ante-post favourite in the lead-up to the race, and punters backing the favourite have been well rewarded in the last decade. Other trainers to keep an eye on include James Bolger, Dermot Weld, Devin Prendergast and John Oxx.

The race is currently sponsored by Dubai Duty Free, who commenced sponsorship in 2008. The previous sponsor was Budweiser from 1986 ? 2007. The Irish Derby takes place as part of the Irish Derby Festival, which is the most anticipated event on the Irish racing calendar.

Irish Derby ? Records:

Most Successful Jockey:
Morny Wing managed an impressive six wins with Ballyheron (1921), Waygood (1923), Rock Star (1930), Rosewell (1938), Windsor Slipper (1942) and Bright New (1946).
Most Successful Trainer:
World class trainer Aidan O?Brien has amassed an incredible seven Irish Derby victories with Desert King (1997), Galileo (2001), High Chaparral (2002), Dylan Thomas (2006), Soldier of Fortune (2007), Frozen Fire (2008) and Fame And Glory (2009).

Irish Derby ? Recent Race Results:

Year

Winner

Jockey

Trainer

Owner

Time

2009
Fame and Glory
Johnny Murtagh Aidan O’Brien Smith / Magnier / Tabor 2:30.87
2008
Frozen Fire
Seamus Heffernan Aidan O’Brien Smith / Magnier / Tabor 2:31.96
2007
Soldier of Fortune
Seamus Heffernan Aidan O’Brien Smith / Magnier / Tabor 2:36.02
2006
Dylan Thomas
Kieren Fallon Aidan O’Brien Magnier / Tabor 2:29.70
2005
Hurricane Run
Kieren Fallon Andre Fabre Michael Tabor 2:29.40
2004
Grey Swallow
Pat Smullen Dermot Weld Rochelle Quinn 2:28.70
2003
Alamshar
Johnny Murtagh John Oxx HH Aga Khan IV 2:28.20
2002
High Chaparral
Michael Kinane Aidan O’Brien Tabor / Magnier 2:32.20
2001
Galileo
Michael Kinane Aidan O’Brien Tabor / Magnier 2:27.10
2000
Sinndar
Jonny Murtagh John Oxx HH Aga Khan IV 2:33.90