Irish racing

'We Are Going To Get Relegated If We Keep Selling Our Best Strikers'

   There have been a lot of football analogies in racing this week. Most have centered around a hypothetical situation whereby the Kevin De Bruynes or the Erling Haalands of this world were leaving the Premier League for sunnier-and more lucrative pay packets-in foreign leagues.     For all the Manchester City fans out there, you can relax, as the analogy was simply fictional. However, there is nothing fictional about the mass exodus of talent facing British and Irish racing.    Ger Lyons is better qualified than most to speak about...

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Falling Attendances Reported in HRI's Six-Month Industry Statistics

Fewer horses in training, a drop in active owners and falling attendances were reported by Horse Racing Ireland in the six-month Irish Thoroughbred Racing Industry Statistics, which were released on Thursday.  Attendances for the first half of 2022 were down 9% on 2019 levels while on-course bookmakers reduced by 10.3% and Tote Ireland turnover was down a further 12.8%. However, bloodstock sales in Ireland at public auction continue to thrive, with the figures for the first six months up 31% to the most comparable recent figure of 2019.  There were...

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The Curragh Hosts 'Taste of Kildare'

Taste of Kildare will be held at the Curragh Racecourse during the Autumn Festival of Racing. Food producers and restaurants will showcase their culinary offerings at the Kildare track Sept. 24-25. The first day of Taste of Kildare, which will run on the same day as the Goffs Millions, Europe's richest race for 2-year-olds. Day 2 of Taste of Kildare will coincide with the Friends of the Curragh Day. For more information and to purchase tickets see

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Irish Training Yards Open to Public

In conjunction with racehorse trainers throughout Ireland, Horse Racing Ireland Ownership will offer racing fans and those interested in racehorse ownership the opportunity to go behind the scenes and experience a working training yard.  The trainer open mornings will run nationwide from July to October and are free to attend. So far, 20 trainers from 10 different counties are taking  part. The open mornings will include a tour of their chosen yard and its facilities, watch the racehorses on the gallop, meet the team that look after the horses and...

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Irish EBF Barrier Trials Kick Off July 5

The initial session of Irish EBF Barrier Trials gets underway July 5 at Dundalk Stadium. Beginning at 1p.m. (local time), a total of 10 Trials are scheduled, comprised of tests for unraced 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds over five-seven furlongs. Operated by Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) and backed by Irish EBF and the IHRB, Trials are principally serve as formative trials for inexperienced horses. Notable Trial graduates include G1 Al Quoz Sprint winner A Case Of You (Ire) and G3 Gordon S. scorer Ottoman Emperor (Ire). Trials are available to view on...

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Entries Open for Irish EBF Barrier Trials

Entries are open for Irish EBF Barrier Trials at Dundalk Stadium, to be held Tuesday, July 5, beginning at noon (local time). Operated by Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM) and backed by Irish EBF and the IHRB, Trials are open to unraced 2-year-olds and 3-year-olds and are run over five to seven furlongs. Trials, principally staged to offer a platform for unraced Irish Thoroughbreds, also serve as a learning experience for inexperienced horses. Notable Trial graduates include Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint winner A Case Of You (Ire) and Group 3...

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Irish Cesarewitch To Carry €600,000 Prize Fund

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...

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Darragh O'Loughlin Appointed New IHRB CEO

Darragh O'Loughlin has been appointed the new Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB). O'Loughlin will begin serving in his new role on June 29. Previously, O'Loughlin was the Secretary General of the Irish Pharmacy Union from 2013 until April of this year. He also served as a Council Member of the PSI (The Pharmacy Regulator) for six years and was a board member of the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). Martin O'Donnell, Chairman of the IHRB, said, "Darragh brings an exceptional combination of regulatory expertise...

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Alkumait Sponsorship Heads First 2yo Race of Irish Season

As part of the IRE Incentive Scheme, Curragh hosts the first juvenile race of the Irish racing season Saturday. The five-furlong test is sponsored by Castlefield Stud on behalf of G2 Mill Reef S. winner Alkumait (GB) (Showcasing {GB}--Suelita {GB}, by Dutch Art {GB}), who stands at the nursery for €5,000. Highlighting the sponsorship, the connections of the first season sire are offering a €100,000 bonus to the connections of the first black-type winner from the stallion's first crop of 2-year-olds. ''We have long-term ambitions, and we are going to...

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IRE Incentive Scheme Expanded

The IRE Incentive scheme, an initiative designed to stimulate and fortify Irish Thoroughbred breeding, racing and sales, will expand to include over 200 races in Ireland and Britain in 2022, according to Horse Racing Ireland (HRI). The IRE Incentive scheme awards a bonus of €10,000 to owners of Irish-bred winners of selected races across the Irish and British Flat and National Hunt programmes, to be spent on Irish-breds at Irish sales. In its first year, the IRE Incentive scheme awarded over €1,000,000 to over 90 individual owners, contributing to more...

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Irish EBF Continues 2.6M Euro Sponsorship

The Irish European Breeders' Fund will continue with their record sponsorship of €2.6 million in 2022. The second year contributing €2.6 million, it will bring the overall contribution to nearly €54 million since the formation of the Irish European Breeders' Fund in 1983. The spend encompasses nearly 500 races, both flat and National Hunt, that will carry EBF conditions throughout the year. "The owners of every stallion standing in Ireland, big or small, Flat or National Hunt, have contributed to this amount and as chairman, I'd like to thank them...

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New Faces At Historic Curragh Stable

By Alayna Cullen and Emma Berry The start of the Irish Flat turf season is now only a matter of weeks away and one man who will be itching to make an impression this year is John O'Donoghue, the new trainer at one of Ireland's most revered stables, Currabeg.  Training at the yard from which John Oxx sent out so many top horses, not least Sea The Stars (Ire), Sinndar (Ire) and Ridgewood Pearl (GB), could bring with it a degree of pressure, but Oxx's successor prefers to view it...

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