IRELAND/UAE. The 15th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby took place at The Curragh Racecourse, County Kildare, on Saturday, with the Ralph Beckett-trained Westover producing a commanding performance to win by seven lengths.
The three-day Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival is the showpiece of the Irish flat racing season and provides a vast international showcase for the leading travel retailer. The main race, the Irish Derby, carries prize money of €1 million.
With restrictions in place during the pandemic, this weekend saw the return of racing fans to the event. This year was the first time Dubai Duty Free hosted guests (among them The Moodie Davitt Report and many other travel retail colleagues and friends) in the magnificent new Curragh grandstand, the Aga Khan Stand.
Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin said: “I would like to offer my huge congratulations to the winning connections and also to compliment The Curragh Racecourse on the wonderful facility. The new Aga Khan Stand is very impressive. This is the 15th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, however we have been involved with the Curragh for 21 years now. We are delighted to be the title sponsor of this prestigious race and thoroughly enjoyed the action and excitement of the festival.”
Introducing the day at the Dubai Duty Free suite on Saturday lunchtime, McLoughlin reminded guests of the company’s journey since 1983, and its status as the leading travel retailer at a single airport anywhere in the world. He hailed the role of company staff in its success down the year, and added that its sponsorship of major sporting events remains central to its marketing strategy.
The Dubai Duty Free Most Stylish Man and Lady in association with The K Club was another feature of the day. Breeda McLoughlin, wife of Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Fashion and Lifestyle Ambassador Bairbre Power, impressionist Doireann Garrihy and Olympian Greg O Shea were the fashion judges on the day. Olive Foley from County Clare was declared the most stylish lady while the best dressed man was Harry Cowap.
The full week of activities included a golf classic at The K Club. Dubai Duty Free is also a partner in the Horizon Irish Open Golf tournament which takes place this week.