Curragh extends Irish Derby largesse
The Curragh will persist with and build on the initiative that last year saw all the main Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby protagonists compete for free in the Irish Classic.
In a statement confirming that the 2016 edition of the Group One will boast a record €1.5m purse due to a €250,000 increase, the nature of the enhancements are outlined.
This year's Irish Derby winner will take home €870,000, a €145,000 increase on that which Jack Hobbs plundered for Godolphin in 2015. Each of the first eight home will receive more money, with the eighth horse earning €15,000, up from €12,500.
In 2015, a trial initiative permitted horses that had won or been placed in certain races to compete for free in the Irish Derby.
With the connections of the Derby runner-up and third, Jack Hobbs and Storm The Stars, among those to avail of the incentive, the experiment was deemed a success, and the Italian Derby and Irish 1,000 Guineas have been added to the list of events from which the winners would be entitled to free entry.
Furthermore, the winners of the UAE Derby, the Derrinstown Stud Derby trial, the Dante and the Prix Hocquart will also now have any entry fee - excluding a supplementary entry fee - that has been paid refunded, should they contest the Curragh showpiece.
Paul Hensey, general manager at the Curragh, said of the additions: "We hope that this exciting initiative will maximise the potential for us to encourage owners and trainers to be part of Ireland's greatest and most valuable horse race."