Longines Irish Champions Weekend 2017
If it’s top-class action on the flat you are after, for two
days in September, what’s best in Ireland is what’s best in the world. Since
its inception in 2014, Longines Irish Champions Weekend has developed into one
of the leading events on the international racing calendar. Boasting a terrific
concentration of quality flat racing, Longines Irish Champions Weekend continues
to bring together many of the best racehorses as owners and trainers from
around the world chase down a share of over €4.6 million in prize-money on
offer at Leopardstown and the Curragh.
Superbly positioned on the international racing calendar, the
best of the best will take their chances in the five Group 1 races, featuring
the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and the Comer Group International Irish St Leger.
In a supporting role, there are two Group 2 races and three races at Group 3 level.
In all, there are 14 races over the two days. The QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes
is truly deserving of its ‘Champion’ title. Last year’s renewal was ranked as
the best race in Europe and the joint-second highest rated race in the world.
The importance of Longines Irish Champions Weekend cannot be
underestimated. In horse racing terms, it does not get much bigger or better
than this. For so many years, Ireland has been a dominant force on the world’s
racing stage, enjoying fantastic success and indeed, punching well above its
weight in terms of breeding and racing success.
Ireland has a well-earned reputation for producing horses
that perform at the highest level at all international venues. Remarkably,
Ireland currently stands as the largest producer of thoroughbreds in Europe and
the third largest in the world. Irish-bred horses consistently enjoy high levels
of success and as a result, bloodstock exports continue to thrive each year.
Irish trainers consistently plunder the biggest events on
the world stage. The Classics in Britain regularly fall to Irish-trained horses
as do those in France and Germany. Whether it’s America, Canada, Australia,
Singapore or Hong Kong, Irish trainers and horses grace every roll of honour.
And now, we have a global event of our own. An event that is
targeted from abroad, that does attract international competition on Irish soil
and for once, Irish trainers will be asked to defend rather than attack!
And it’s not just horses that will be coming from abroad. Longines
Irish Champions Weekend brings thousands of overseas visitors to Ireland. The
great Irish racing festivals have a proven record of drawing horse racing fans
from the four corners of the globe and this event further promotes Ireland as
one of the great sporting and racing destinations.