+353 45 877543

The Lowdown from Irish Champions Weekend

O'Brien brothers taste Group 1 glory...

Building on the huge success of the previous two years - this year's Irish Champions Weekend renewal proved better than ever.

The Next Generation Experience kicked off their weekend with our N.G. Lunch in the Ground Floor Pavilion on Saturday at Leopardstown. We had 30 guests seated for a most enjoyable lunch followed by an action packed card – the highlight of which was witnessing the French invader “ALMANZOR” defeat a world class field in the Irish Champion Stakes.

The Irish 2,000 Guineas heroine “AWTAAD” got back to winning ways in the Group 2 Boomerang Stakes, while “ALICE SPRINGS” was an emphatic winner of the Group 1 Matron Stakes.

Later in the evening while refreshments were flowing, the Rathasker Stud sponsored N.G. BEST DRESSED got into full swing. Judged by the hilarious duo John & Pa Heenan, we witnessed the elegant Emma Gunning (pictured) from Dublin claim the prestigious N.G Best Dressed Lady while the Anthony Byrne grabbed the Gents equivalent. Each received a case of champagne curtsey of our generous sponsors.

Celebrations continued into the early hours where Ryan’s Bar on Camden Street was the chosen destination by many who had attended Leopardstown earlier in the day.

Sunday opened with The Curragh Trail where our guests were taken on a tour of Kildare’s finest training establishments and stud farms. A pre-race picnic followed in Carpark 2 run in conjunction with those contesting in The Corinthian Challenge (Sophie Candy, Alice Kavanagh & Sally-Ann Grassick), guests in attendance each received a Goffs sponsored gift bag.

Another great day’s racing unfolded, Joseph O’Brien tasted Group 1 success for the first time as a trainer when “INTRICATELY” got here nose in front in the Moyglare Stakes with O’Brien’s brother, Donnacha on board claiming his first prize at the highest level in the saddle. It was a memorable day for both brothers and their mother Anne Marie who bred the horse.

A dramatic battle took place in the Irish St Leger with the ever consistent “WICKLOW BRAVE” defying the red favourite “ORDER OF ST GEORGE”. It was a fitting way to bring the curtain down on the weekend’s Group 1 action.

The Next Generation Committee would like to extend our thanks to all our guests who attended the N.G. Experence and also I.T.B.A., Leopardstown Racecourse, WeAreJohn&Pa, Rathasker Stud & Ryan’s Bar for their help in making it such a memorable weekend.

© 2018 ITBA