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Irish Champion Stakes: Bahrain Turf Club announced as new sponsor

Thu 11 Aug 2022

Leopardstown Racecourse and Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) are delighted to announce the Bahrain Turf Club as new sponsor of the Irish Champion Stakes. The Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes of €1,000,000 will be staged at Leopardstown Racecourse on Saturday 10 September.

The race is the centrepiece of day one of Longines Irish Champions Weekend and has attracted anpther stellar entry of 42 this year, including some of Europe’s best colts and fillies. French Derby and Eclipse winner Vadeni, trained in France by Jean-Claude Rouget, a winning trainer in 2016 with Almanzor, currently tops the betting.

The agreement will see the Bahrain Turf Club sponsor the prestigious race for six years and through until 2027.

H.H. Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Chairman of The Bahrain Turf Club, said: “The Bahrain Turf Club is delighted to establish this partnership with Leopardstown and Horse Racing Ireland by sponsoring one of the most prestigious races in world racing, The Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes.

St Mark's Basilica triumphs in a thrilling Irish Champion Stakes last season

“Following our investment into the sport in recent years, The Kingdom of Bahrain is now recognised as a Part Two nation under the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, and it will be my ambition to continue supporting our programme in order to become a Part One nation that hosts an international Group 1 in the near future.

“The future of our European sponsorship strategy will be designed to support The Kingdom of Bahrain’s burgeoning international race programme which is currently headlined by the £600,000 1m2f Group 3 in November, The Bahrain International Trophy.”

Suzanne Eade, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “The Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes is a race that always delivers and next month’s renewal, the first to be run under the sponsorship of the Bahrain Turf Club, looks a race to savour.

“I would like to thank His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and the Bahrain Turf Club for this sponsorship. We are very aware of the desire The Kingdom of Bahrain has to grow their racing product and Bahrain has had a continued presence at our sales for many years now and also have a growing bloodstock interest in Ireland.”

"A real platform for international growth and interest" - Leopardstown Chief Executive Tim Husbands on the new agreement

Tim Husbands, Chief Executive of Leopardstown Racecourse, said: “We are honoured to welcome such a prestigious and international brand, the Bahrain Turf Club, to support our flagship Flat race, the Irish Champion Stakes. To have this international support reinforces the importance of the Irish Champion Stakes in the Irish racing calendar.

We would like to thank His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa for the generous sponsorship. We look forward to working with His Highness and the Bahrain Turf Club on one of the world’s leading Flat races, The Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes.”

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