THE very popular Thoroughbred Trails will return on the morning of Day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh.
This event, which takes place prior to racing, allows racing fans to go behind the scenes and to meet some of the legends of Irish racing.
The trails, which have been a hugely popular part of the weekend since it was first launched back in 2014, will take place on the morning of Sunday, September 11th and offer three very special trails to include admission to the races.
Trail 1 – Curragh racing heritage
Join local historian and retired Curragh trainer, Jim Kavanagh on a tour of the Maddenstown area of the Curragh plain, which has a vibrant and tumultuous history, including stories of Irish sporting, military, and national heritage and royal scandal.
You will also visit two of the Curragh’s original lodges. Conyngham Lodge is the home of racehorse trainer Tracey Collins, a third generation of the Collins family to train here.
You will pass through the Curragh Camp, Ireland’s defence forces training centre en route to Ranger Lodge at Ballymany, home of trainer Richard Brabazon, who is also a third generation of the Brabazon family to train at this yard.
This is a unique chance to step back in time as you hear about famous and infamous characters and racehorses.
Trail 2 – Curragh legends
The gives you opportunity to chat to two of the Curragh’s most famous racing celebrities.
The trail will begin with a visit to the Curragh Training Grounds to meet Dermot Weld at the Old Vic Gallop, where the legendary trainer has prepared so many of his big race winners featuring nine Irish St Leger successes.
These include the remarkable Vinnie Roe who carried the colours of movie director Jim Sheridan to four victories and two-time winner Search For A Song, together with undoubtedly his most celebrated winner Vintage Crop, who subsequently went onto win the Melbourne Cup.
The coach will then travel across the Curragh to the Currabeg stables to meet retired trainer John Oxx who will chat about his illustrious career and his horses including Sea The Stars, Sinndar, Ridgewood Pearl and Alamshar.
There will also be the opportunity to meet trainer John O’Donoghue who started his training career based at Currabeg earlier this year.
Trail 3 - Behind the scenes at Kildangan Stud
This exclusive behind the scenes tour will give access to one of the most magnificent stud farms in the world. The trail will give visitors an opportunity to learn about the history and importance of Kildangan and the part it that it plays in the overall Godolphin racing and breeding operation.
There will also be the opportunity to see some of their leading stallions including Teofilo and Night Of Thunder.
Each trail will be accompanied by an expert guide. Participates will enjoy complimentary refreshments before the trails commence at 9.30am sharp.
Day 2 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend features the Comer Group International Irish St Leger together with three other Group 1 races at the Curragh on Sunday September 11th.
Trails cost €50 per person to include admission to the races which must be purchased in advance.
They are now available at www.curragh.ie.