His Excellency President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina have accepted an invitation to be the guests of honour at the Darley Irish Oaks which takes place at the Curragh Racecourse on Sunday 22nd July. The President will make the presentation of trophies to the winning connections of the Darley Irish Oaks following the running of the feature race at 3.15pm.
Likely contenders for the Group One fillies Classic include Epsom Oaks heroine Was. The latter is one of 15 fillies still left in the race for her trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is chasing his sixth Classic in Ireland and Britain this season. The Ballydoyle maestro also bids to land his third Darley Irish Oaks following on from his successes with Alexandrova and Peeping Fawn. The Fugue and Shirocco Star chased Was home at Epsom and both fillies are likely to reoppose on Sunday week.
Ribblesdale Stakes winner Princess Highway will represent Dermot Weld and the Moyglare Stud, who combined to win this race in 1996 with Dance Design. Impressive Haydock scorer Great Heavens is being seriously considered for the race by trainer John Gosden, although she will have to be supplemented by 12 noon on Tuesday, 17th July. In total there are 19 British-trained raiders left in the 400,000 euro race, while there are four from France.
While the Darley Irish Oaks is the main event of the day, there are some other very exciting contests for racegoers to enjoy, including the Group Three Kilboy Estate Stakes, the Group Three Jebel Ali Stables and Racecourse Anglesey Stakes, the Thalgo Ladies Derby Handicap and the Bettor.com Rockingham Handicap. The first of eight races on Sunday commences at 1.40pm.
The Classic Race Wear competition will also be held on Sunday, judged by milliner extraordinaire Louis Mariette whose myriad of couture creations have been worn by an eclectic clientele and glamorous celebrities such as Jerry Hall, Alek Wek, Jodie Kidd, Isabell Kristensen, Sophie Dahl, Joan Collins, Dannii Minogue, Lady Gaga, Paris Hilton and Kate Moss. The prize will be €3,000 worth of furniture and interior decor from Michael Murphy Home Furnishing and an interior design consultation as well as a Coogan Bergin Beauty Clinic pamper day.
Racing at the Curragh also takes place on Saturday, 21st July and the day is designed to race funds for KARE who help people with intellectual disabilities. The Group Three KARE Race Day Minstrel Stakes tops the bill and contest has attracted some quality horses, including Betterbetterbetter, Royal Ascot winner Duntle, Caponata, Circle, Princess Sinead, Soon and Tannery. There are seven possible British-trained challengers most notable of which are Rhythm Of Light, Lady Time and Kinetica. The first of seven races on Saturday gets under way at 2.30pm.
Saturday 21st July
Adult €15 / U25’s and Seniors €8 / Children free.
Sunday 22nd July
Adult €20 / U25’s and Seniors €10 / Children free.