Photos by Conor Healy
The 11th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby took place at the Curragh Racecourse, Co. Kildare on Saturday (30th June) amid glorious sunshine. The festival and day, which is sponsored by one of the world’s leading airport retailers, Dubai Duty Free was a great success, filled with fantastic racing, fashion and fun.
Brothers Joseph and Donnacha O’Brien combined for an historic Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby success when Latrobe came out on top of a terrific finish. Joseph O’Brien, who won the race on Australia and Camelot as a jockey, was providing his younger brother with his first win in the race and in turn, they denied their father Aidan a 13th Irish Derby success with his contenders Rostropovich and Saxon Warrior a close up second and third. O’Brien was training the winner for Lloyd Williams, who had also teamed up with the young trainer to win the Melbourne Cup last November.
Meanwhile, Colm McLoughlin Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free together with his wife Breeda and Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing of Dubai Duty Free hosted over 350 people for a VIP lunch in their private pavilion on the finish line. Famous faces in their private suite included the UAE Ambassador to Ireland, H.E Sultan Mohamed Majed Al Ali, RTE’s Mary Kennedy, Anne Doyle, Celia Holman Lee, Annette Rocca, Jane Given, Gay Byrne, Kathleen Watkins and TV3’s Alan Hughes.
Since becoming the title sponsor of Ireland’s oldest horse race, Dubai Duty Free have consistently built on their sponsorship and have created a festival in the true sense of the word. On and off the track activities in the early part of the week included a Best Dressed Window Competition for businesses in Kildare town and Newbridge and a golf classic and a charity ball at The K Club in aid of the Jack & Jill Children’s Foundation. Over €60,000 was raised for the children’s charity at the ball. All of these activities were also sponsored by Dubai Duty Free as well as the Best Dressed Lady Competition which also took place on Saturday and was won by Regina Horan from Malahide. The fashion judges Breeda McLoughlin, wife of the Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin, together with her fellow judges Bairbre Power and Nina Carberry were impressed with Regina’s, light summer red dress by fashion label ‘ Self Portrait’, her Miu Miu clutch and boater style hat. She won a luxury trip to Dubai for two including flights and accommodation in the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel a €1,000 Dubai Duty Free shopping voucher and two nights at The K Club in Straffan, Co. Kildare.
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free said; “This is our 11th year sponsoring the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and we have seen it grow in terms of both its prestige and value over this time. It is great to be involved with a race of this calibre, and we were delighted to see the great progress that is happening at The Curragh. The redevelopment here is already very impressive and we are looking forward to seeing the final and finished facilities next year.”
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