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Westover crosses the line to win the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, with prominent branding for the retailer throughout the prestigious racing venue

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.

Dubai Duty Free Executive Vice Chairman & CEO Colm McLoughlin (fourth left) and Senior Vice President Marketing Sinead El Sibai (third left), along with UAE Ambassador to Ireland HE Mohammed Hamda Al Shamsi (third right), present the trophies to the winning connections of Westover. These include Juddmonte General Manager of Ireland and European racing Barry Mahon (centre), trainer Ralph Beckett (fourth right) and jockey Colin Keane. Also pictured are Dubai Duty Free Manager Projects & Events Jasmin Micoyco (second right) and Westover groom Chun Lee (second left) with the Dubai Duty Free ambassadors.

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.

Large crowds visited The Curragh for the return of the Derby as a major spectator event; below, greeting the winner as he returned to the parade ring

The magnificent Aga Khan stand at The Curragh, where Dubai Duty Free hosted guests for a memorable afternoon. Below, Colm McLoughlin welcomes guests with a reminder of the 38-year Dubai Duty Free journey.

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.

Reconnecting with old friends: Colm and Breeda McLoughlin with David Spillane (GTR Sales, left), Barry Geoghegan (Duty Free Global, second right) and Dermot Davitt (The Moodie Davitt Report, right)

Colm and Breeda McLoughlin (center) with King Power Group (Hong Kong) Group Chief Executive Sunil Tuli (left) and Shikha Tuli (right)

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby brought together many industry friends this year after a long absence. From left, Michelle Davitt, Maurice Burke, Sinead El Subai, Sunil Tuli, Orla van den Bergh, Barry Geoghegan, Isobel Spillane; bottom, Shikha Tuli and David Spillane.

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.

Breeda McLoughlin with best dressed man Harry Cowap and best dressed woman Olive Foley at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Photo: Kieran Harnett)

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Golf Classic winning team of Robert Garreth, Martin Wall, Michael Meagher and Trevor Duffy received their trophies from Colm McLoughlin (left) and Sinead El Sibai (centre). Also pictured is Irish golf pro and Dubai Duty Free ambassador Des Smyth.

Dubai Duty Free branding has been front and center at Dublin Airport (T2 arrivals pictured) over the past week

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