Irish racing

Irish Racing Yearbook 2024 Now Available

Irish Racing Yearbook 2024, an annual chronicle of horse racing in Ireland, the achievements of Irish people on foreign soil while covering the entire spectrum of the sport of racing and thoroughbred industry in the form of interviews, profiles, analysis and more, is now available for purchase. The collection is a collaboration of the best writers and photographers with the leading protagonists in all spheres from breeding to sales, from point-to-point tracks to the racecourse. The cover story is written by Donn McClean, providing insight from three-time Gold Cup winner...

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Irish Horse Racing Fixtures Increase For 2024 As Fixture List Announced By HRI

The 2024 Irish fixture list, which will see the number of meetings rise to 395 while also extending the industry breaks in winter and summer and maintain six blank Sundays, was published by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) on Thursday. There were 390 fixtures scheduled for 2023. All of the 2024 fixtures have been allocated barring four, and horses-in-training numbers are up 2%. Six turf fixtures have been added to the 2024 fixture list, initially on a one-year basis, and will held at Punchestown (Bank Holiday Monday, Feb. 5), the Curragh...

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Eade Says Attendances A Priority As HRI Release Six-Month Statistics

Horse Racing Ireland boss Suzanne Eade has put attendance figures towards the top of her priority list for the remainder of 2023 and hailed the resilience of owners against the backdrop of the cost of living crisis as the six-month statistics were revealed on Thursday.  Attendances have climbed 7.6% to 544,147 for the first six months of the year while sponsorship rose 4.8% to €4.4m with horses winning overall prize money of €30.6m. That is up 1% on last year's corresponding figures, despite a reduction in the number of race...

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Study Points to Sustained Growth of Irish Racing 

The racing and breeding industry delivered €2.46bn to the Irish economy in 2022, according to a survey undertaken by Deloitte and commissioned by Horse Racing Ireland (HRI). This figure represents a rise of 34% since 2016, while the number of jobs supported by the sector has also increased during that time, by 1,450, to a total of 30,350. Of that total economic impact, €819m is generated by the breeding industry, €264m is spent by owners in the training and running of horses, and a further €193m comes through on- and...

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Five Irish Tracks Reject Media Rights Deal

For the first time in history, Irish racing looks set to have two separate providers of pictures after five racecourses rejected a media rights deal on Tuesday. At a groundbreaking general meeting of the Association of Irish Racecourses (AIR) held at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge, the five members of the United Irish Racecourses (UIR) voted against the five-year deal worth €47 million. That means that the five tracks--Kilbeggan, Limerick, Roscommon, Sligo and Thurles--are now free to negotiate their own separate deal, presumably with Arena Racing Company, which could pave...

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'She Looks Smart And Will Be Early' – Joseph O'Brien Stable Tour

Joseph O'Brien has an array of talent to look forward to this season, headed by G1 Irish 2000 Guineas hope Al Riffa (Fr) (Wootton Bassett {GB}), Group 1 winner Above The Curve (American Pharoah) and smart additions to the stable in Jumbly (GB) (Gleneagles {Ire}), Mooneista (Ire) (Dandy Man {Ire}) and Ottilien (Fr) (Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}). But a yard as big as Owning Hill needs a conveyor belt of youngsters coming through the ranks and O'Brien can boast just that. Last season's stats back up such a statement. With...

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Joe Banahan Q&A: The IHRB's Official Starter On His Passion For Breeding

Official Starter for the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, Joe Banahan is hugely passionate about breeding, and from a small but select broodmare band, his family have enjoyed notable success on the Flat from their Moortown House Stud base near Navan. Joe's parents Percy and Elaine have recently passed away but, along with his wife Edel, he has carried on the proud family tradition in breeding. In this week's Starfield Stud-sponsored Q&A, Banahan, a former jockey, reveals how he became infatuated with breeding, what he aims to achieve from Moortown House...

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New Irish Racing Documentary Begins On TG4 Next Week

A new four-part series of Laochra Na Rásaíochta, featuring some of Ireland's greatest National Hunt racehorses, will air for four consecutive Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, Mar. 8, TG4 and Touchline Media announced on Tuesday. The opening episode tells the stories of Willie Mullins's three Champion Hurdle heroes--Hurricane Fly (Ire), Faugheen (Ire) and Annie Power (Ire)--and also features a segment on Quevega (Fr), the record six-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival. Contributors include Willie Mullins, Paul Townend, Ruby Walsh, David Casey, Gail Carlisle, Ted Walsh and Noel Meade....

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Dubai Duty Free Extends Sponsorship Of Irish Derby, Returns To Sunday Slot

Dubai Duty Free will continue their sponsorship of the G1 Irish Derby, as they renewed their partnership with the Curragh, the duo announced on Tuesday. In addition, the prize-money for the Irish Classic will increase from€1 million to €1.25 million in 2023, and five additional races will be sponsored by the airport retailer. For the first time since 2011, the Irish Derby will take place on a Sunday, with 2023's date set to be July 2. The full eight-race card will also become a permanent part of the Hong Kong...

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Ben Coen, Mike Sheehy Bolster New South Wales' Jockey Ranks

Two of Ireland's leading jockeys--Ben Coen and Mike Sheehy--will be plying their trade in New South Wales, Australia for the next few months. Coen, who is the number one jockey for conditioner Johnny Murtagh, and last year won the G1 Irish St Leger aboard Sonnyboyliston (Ire) (Power {GB}), will spend his time in Sydney with the Chris Waller stable. "This opportunity gives me the chance to experience another style of racing," he said. "I've never ridden trackwork with times as well, so that's an experience and something you can obviously...

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Goffs' Tommy Hayes Among Irish Tbred Industry Employee Award Winners

Goffs' Tommy Hayes was among recipients at the Irish Thoroughbred Industry Employee Award at Tuesday's ceremony held at the Keadeen Hotel in Newbridge, Co Kildare and sponsored by Godolphin. Hayes joined Goffs in 1984, overseeing the facilities, stables, grounds and auditorium. "All of us at Goffs are so proud of our wonderful colleague Tommy Hayes and are thrilled that his hard work and dedication has been recognised by the industry in this way," said Goffs Group Chief Executive Henry Beeby. "This award is richly deserved as Tommy is the epitome...

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'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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