One of the most valuable staying contests of the European season will be staged at the Curragh on Sept. 25 when the Irish Cesarewitch is run for a total prize find of €600,000.
A group of supporters of Ireland's flagship racecourse have united under the banner of 'Friends of the Curragh' to back the prestigious two-mile contest in a three-year sponsorship commitment. The race will now take place earlier than usual, with permission having been granted by the European Patter Committee to move the G3 Loughbrown S. to a later date in October.
The Friends of the Curragh Irish Cesarewitch will now take place on the second day of a new two-day Autumn Festival which also features the Goffs Million.
The new initiative was brought about by former Horse Racing Ireland chairman Joe Keeling, who said, “I am very pleased to have been involved in the redevelopment of the Curragh into a world-class facility for which a number of people deserve great credit and thanks. I am delighted to play a small part in supporting this new initiative and hope it will build a race which attracts national and international interest. The two-mile track at the Curragh is a great test of a horse's speed and stamina and the race will take plenty of winning.”
Up to 30 runners will be permitted for the 0-110 handicap, and the winners of several staying Premier Handicaps run at more than 12f through the season will be exempt from the ballot at the final forfeit stage.
Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of the Curragh Racecourse, added, “This is a really exciting initiative and we are delighted to stage such a high-value race. Joe's passion for and commitment to the Curragh is palpable and he is the driving force behind the creation of this race. We hope that trainers and owners from Ireland and overseas will target this race and we look forward to a full field doing battle over the Curragh's longest distance.”