Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) have moved quickly to avoid a catastrophic clash of times between day one of Longines Irish Champions Weekend and the replayed All-Ireland SFC final on Saturday September 14.
Yesterday's epic draw between Dublin and Kerry put a spanner in the works for the star-studded afternoon/evening card planned at Leopardstown as it was set to take place at the same time as the eagerly-anticipated replay in Croke Park (6.0).
The earlier start time (1.55) at the Foxrock track prevents a direct clash with activities at GAA HQ while it also accommodates a significant Japanese television audience following the exploits of the first Japanese-trained runner in Ireland.
Nassau Stakes winner Deirdre – trained by Mitsuru Hashida and set to be partnered once again by Kerry jockey Oisin Murphy – will tackle the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, which will be broadcast to millions of racing enthusiasts live in Japan.
"On a fantastic day of sporting action, we will cater for those who would like to see one of the best race meetings of the year and one of the highlights of the season, as well as the All-Ireland final replay," Leopardstown CEO Pat Keogh said.
"The news that Green Channel will show the Irish Champion Stakes live on their channel is fantastic news for the profile of the race and we’ve been inundated with media requests from Japan which underlines the interest there in their brilliant race mare, Deirdre.
"It’s an incredible day’s racing and is one for the whole family to enjoy – indeed it is worth repeating that accompanied children under-18 are free and there are plenty of free children’s activities."
Revised schedule for day one of Longines Irish Champions Weekend on Saturday, September 14
1.55 Listed Ballylinch Stud EBF Ingabelle Stakes
2.30 Irish Stallions Farms EBF ‘Petingo’ Premier Handicap
3.05 Group Two KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes
3.40 Group Three Paddy Power Betting Shop Stakes
4.15 Group One QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes
4.50 Group Two Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes
5.25 Group One Coolmore ‘Fastnet Rock’ Matron Stakes
6.0 Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Sovereign Path’ Premier Handicap