Santiago wins the DDF Irish Derby at the Curragh
The 13th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby was run behind closed doors on Saturday, June 27, at the Curragh Racecourse (Kildare, Ireland) in what was the 155th running of the world-famous race. Fourteen horses went to post in the premier €750,000 showpiece Irish flat event in what was the biggest field since 1977. Providing the trainer Aidan O’Brien victory for an incredible 14th time, Santiago emerged as the winner. It was a courageous effort from the 2/1 favorite.
“We are pleased to have once again supported the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, albeit under different circumstances this year. It was important for racing that this weekend festival went ahead and while we were not able to [attend The Curragh Racecourse] in person this year, we enjoyed watching the spectacle on TV from Dubai.
Congratulations to The Curragh, Horse Racing Ireland and the Turf Club for staging the event successfully whilst following all safety protocols. Congratulations also to Aidan O’Brian and the team at Coolmore for winning the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby for a remarkable 14th time,” says Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman & CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
The exciting contest was broadcast around the world to its widest audience ever. As the host broadcaster, RTE syndicated the racing program to several international outlets. The race was televised on Fox Sports in the USA and the Green Channel in Japan for the first time. With Fox Sports experiencing a reach of 100 million viewers in a single weekend and the Green Channel available in 40 million homes, the DDF brand reached all corners of the globe. Coverage of the premier event was also available on a number of other networks in America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, South Africa, the Caribbean and 17 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and of course, Europe.
“It’s a great credit to everyone for getting racing back. There’s an awful lot of people who depend on it, a lot of livelihoods. It’s a strange time but times will change, and owners will get back racing. It’s great that it’s happening and a big credit to everyone that’s making it happen,” adds O’Brien.
Dubai Duty Free, the world’s leading airport retailer has been the title sponsor of Ireland's premier Classic since 2008. Over the years, DDF has helped to build the festival into a must attend event with a lot of activities taking place both on and off the track such as a Best Dressed Lady Competition, charity ball and golf classic.
Although people couldn’t attend the race itself, The Curragh Racecourse executed a handful of initiatives on social media in order to encourage followers to engage with the race and to have their own Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Party at home.