Irish Leger moves to evening slot in bid to heighten profile

This year’s Gain Horse Feeds Irish St Leger will be run in an early-evening slot in a bid to heighten the profile of the Group One race.

The Curragh switched the Irish Derby to an evening start earlier this year and after hailing that move a success, officials will follow suit with a later start to the fixture on September 15. The final Irish Classic of the season will now start at 6.05pm, while the Group One Goffs Vincent O’Brien Stakes, formerly known as the National Stakes, will end the eight-race card at 6.40pm.

Curragh general manager Paul Hensey said: “Following discussions with our sponsors and RTE, we feel that moving the feature races to a later time will ensure we maximise the opportunity to boost attendance, television coverage and the profile of what is undoubtedly one of our best racing days of the season.”

The list of entries for this year’s contest includes last year’s joint-winner, Jukebox Jury, 2010 winner, Sans Frontieres, Melbourne Cup hero, Dunaden, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winners, Fame and Glory and Treasure Beach, and the Dermot Weld-trained pair, Unaccompanied and Galileo’s Choice.

Camelot’s attempt to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to win the Triple Crown at Doncaster will be shown on large screens throughout the enclosures.

Admission will be €20 and under 16’s are free. First race is scheduled for 3.00.

Hensey also confirmed next year’s Darley Irish Oaks will be moved from its traditional Sunday afternoon slot to Saturday, July 20.

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