Dubai Duty Free signs historic five-year, multi-million Euro Irish Derby sponsorship agreement – 15/04/08

(L-R) Irish Turf Club Senior Steward Nick Wachman, Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Colm McLoughlin and The Curragh Racecourse Chairman John McStay sign the agreement confirming the airport retailer as title sponsor of the Irish Derby

IRELAND/UAE. Dubai Duty Free has agreed a five-year contract to sponsor the prestigious Irish Derby at the Curragh Racecourse, Ireland from 2008 to 2012.

Details of the sponsorship were announced at a press conference held today at the K-Club in County Kildare, Ireland.

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby will take centre stage at the three-day Irish Derby Festival. It will be held on 27-29 June, with the Derby itself taking place on the last day of the festival. Dubai Duty Free is making a multi-million Euro commitment to the race, including heavy investing in marketing and promotion of the event.

Dubai Duty Free Managing Director Colm McLoughlin said: “The Irish Derby is a major race meeting attracting widespread media coverage across Europe and beyond, and is therefore in line with our global strategy of promoting Dubai and Dubai Duty Free. Ireland is becoming an increasingly important market for Dubai and the United Arab Emirates in terms of travel and business, and we believe that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby will be a flagship event that will heighten interest further.”

“We are delighted to forge an even greater relationship with The Curragh and look forward to exciting times ahead – in particular to 2010 when the new Curragh complex is due to be completed,” McLoughlin concluded.

The Irish Derby will celebrate its 143rd birthday this year, having first run in 1866 when Selim was first past the post.

Some of the world’s greatest thoroughbreds have been successful in the premier Irish Classic including Nijinsky, Galileo, Shergar and Dylan Thomas. The race – which is run over one mile and four furlongs – is one of the world’s most valuable races, with prize money of €1.5 million.

Since its inception there have only ever been three sponsors of the Irish Derby, highlighting the significance of the Dubai Duty Free announcement.

The Curragh Racecourse Chairman John McStay said: “The Irish Derby is a flagship race for our racing industry. For many years it has consistently been among the highest rated three-year-old races in the world. We are determined to keep the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby to the forefront of major international races and for that reason we welcome our new sponsorship partner. The business philosophy of Dubai Duty Free mirrors our ambitions for the racecourse and the race. I know that this will be a very successful partnership.”

Denis Brosnan, Chairman of Horse Racing Ireland, added: “The Irish Derby is Ireland’s premier flat race. In recent years it has been the highest rated Derby in Europe. I would like to congratulate the Curragh Racecourse and the Turf Club for securing such a prestigious partner as Dubai Duty Free for our most important flat race. Horse Racing Ireland looks forward to working with both parties to ensure that the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby continues to showcase Irish racing to the widest global audience.”

NOTE: The retailer recently sponsored the Dubai Duty Free race at the 13th Dubai World Cup in Dubai. Click here for pictures and story.

For further information about the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby visit

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