Juddmonte And Keeneland Continue Their Curragh Race Sponsorship

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The Curragh sees two of its Group 1 race sponsorships renewed | Emma Berry

Juddmonte and Keeneland have renewed their sponsorships of the Curragh's G1 Irish Oaks and G1 Phoenix S., respectively.

The feature race of the two-day Juddmonte Irish Oaks Weekend on Saturday, July 22, the Juddmonte Irish Oaks has been won three times by horses carrying the Juddmonte colours with Enable (GB) (Nathaniel {Ire}) (2017), Bolas (GB) (Unfuwain) (1994) and Wemyss Bight (GB) (Dancing Brave) in 1993. Currently there are 87 first entries for the €500,000 summer Classic, including Juddmonte's debut winner Bluestocking (GB) (Camelot {GB}). Juddmonte started as the sponsor of the G2 Beresford S. in 1988; sponsored the G1 Pretty Polly S. in 2018, and began sponsoring the Irish Oaks in 2020.

Douglas Erskine-Crum, CEO of Juddmonte, said “Juddmonte is delighted to renew our sponsorship of the G1 Juddmonte Irish Oaks. It is extremely important to Juddmonte to support Irish racing and breeding and appreciate its sizeable contribution to the wider industry; we feel the Irish Oaks and Curragh racecourse are perfectly placed to demonstrate this commitment.”

Brian Kavanagh, CEO Curragh Racecourse, Ltd., said “We are delighted to be able to announce the extension of Juddmonte's sponsorship of the Irish Oaks and look forward to a quality renewal as always in July. Juddmonte have been fantastic supporters of the Curragh and of the industry here in Ireland for many years as owners, breeders and sponsors and we greatly look forward to our continued partnership with them in this prestigious race. The Irish Oaks has been won by some wonderful fillies over the years, including the great Enable in 2017.”

Starting their sponsorship of the Phoenix S. in 2010, Keeneland will extend their commitment to the race for another three years. In 2022, Little Big Bear (Ire) (No Nay Never) took the prize and was crowned Europe's Champion 2-Year-old with a mark of 124. Prize-money will increase to €350,000 in 2024 and then €400,000 in 2025.

Shannon Arvin, President and CEO of Keeneland, said, “Keeneland's close connection with the Irish bloodstock and racing industries goes back many decades and we are delighted to celebrate that ongoing bond with the continuation of this longstanding sponsorship.

“We witnessed Little Big Bear win one of the best renewals of the Keeneland Phoenix S. last season, with a performance that this week saw him crowned Europe's champion juvenile, and we look forward to working with the Curragh to continue to grow the race in future years.”

Added Kavanagh, “Keeneland have been a valued partner for the Curragh for many years and we are delighted to be able to announce this extension and enhancement of their sponsorship. They are a pleasure to deal with and the ties between Keeneland and the Irish racing and breeding industries have become stronger in recent years. Their commitment to increasing prize-money for the race over the next three years is most welcome and we greatly look forward to working with Keeneland on this sponsorship.”

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