Drama, style and celebrations at the 16th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby today

by Rose Barrett
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Great drama today at the Curragh Racecourse, both on and off the track for the 16th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby!

There was huge excitement at the racecourse when Ryan Moore rode his first Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner and trainer Aidan O’Brien claimed a 100th European Classic as 4/11 favourite, Auguste Rodin struck home.

Winning connections of Auguste Rodin, winner of the 16th Dubai Duty Free Derby today at the Curragh Racecourse

But alas, for O’Brien it was a case of ecstasy conflicting with agony as another of his horse,  San Antonio broke down badly as he turned into the home stretch taking jockey Wayne Lordan down heavily. Sadly, the horse had to be destroyed; Lordan is reported to be recovering well.

A hat trick for O’Brien

O’Brien took first, second and third place – a clean sweep in today’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, the feature race in two scintillating days of racing at Ireland’s premier flat racetrack.

Moore’s win on Auguste Rodin saw the horse meet the achievement of Harzand in 2016 who followed up a victory at Epsom in the Irish classic.

The VIP Experience

Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, Colm McLoughlin together with his wife Breeda and the Executive Team at Dubai Duty Free consisting of Salah Tahlak, Joint Chief Operating Officer, Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Marketing Manager, Jasmin Micoyco hosted 165 guests for lunch on the day in the VIP area.

Guests enjoyed a wonderful day of racing, fine food and fabulous fashion and entertainment in the spectacular Leger Suite which offers panoramic views across the Curragh plains and has a bird’s eye view of the winning post and parade ring. Speaking after the race, Colm McLoughlin said, “I would like to offer my huge congratulations to the winning connections and also to compliment The Curragh Racecourse on another hugely successful festival.”

The Style Stakes

The Dubai Duty Free Most Stylish Man and Lady Competition in association with The K Club was a hotly contested affair.  Judges included Breeda McLoughlin, wife of Colm McLoughlin, Dubai Duty Free Lifestyle Ambassador and Irish Independent Fashion Editor, Bairbre Power, broadcaster Lottie Ryan and celebrity choreographer, Arthur Gourounlian who were the fashion judges on the day. 

Anne Marie Corbett from Mitchelstown, Cork was handpicked from the crowd as the day’s Most Stylish Lady for her stunning race day ensemble featuring a vivid red outfit from Phoenix V in Cork which was complete with a hat by Carol Kennelly and shoes from Premoli in Galway.

As well as her Most Stylish title, Anne Marie was over the moon with her fabulous array of prizes including return flights for two to Dubai with five glorious nights in Dubai Duty Free’s own five-star hotel, The Jumeirah Creekside, and €1,000 spending money at the award-winning airport retailer. Back on home soil, she and a guest will also be treated to a two-night stay in a luxurious suite at The K Club with breakfast each morning, dinner on one evening in The Barton restaurant, a blissful 50-minute treatment each in The K Spa.

Four runners-up were also chosen by the judges for their fashion-forward flair.

Speaking of the day’s events, Lottie Ryan said: “Everyone who came to The Curragh this year really did put their best foot forward in the fashion stakes. The winners we selected not only exhibited style but also let their personalities shine through in the outfits they chose, which is what the theme of playful glamour is all about! Thank you to everyone who turned out in every way and gave us judges such a difficult decision.”

For the Most Stylish man, Stuart O’Reilly from Naas, Co. Kildare was declared a cut above his competitors with his Remus Uomo suit.  Stuart will enjoy a taste of the Kildare high life with a fantastic five-star K Club VIP experience and a €500 voucher to spend at nearby Kildare Village. 

The full week of activities included activities both on and off the track including a golf classic at The K Club where 28 teams of four played the Palmer North Course and later enjoyed a barbeque and traditional music.

Bairbre Power and Jane Baker at The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at The Curragh Racecourse

Charity benefits

Also, over the weekend the Executive Team visited the Barretstown Children’s Foundation where they saw the great work the children’s charity does for seriously sick children and their families. Colm McLoughlin went on to say,

“This year, Dubai Duty Free has supported the equine programme at The Barretstown Children’s Foundation which runs camps where seriously ill children can enjoy themselves and have fun. Over 1,000 ‘campers’ will now enjoy the equine programme that we have supported this year.”

Style photos Kieran Hartnett

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