One of the worlds biggest duty free operators is to take over sponsorship of the Irish Derby at the Curragh.
Now in it's 143rd year, Dubai Duty Free have been announced as the underwriters for the event on a five-year contract.
The deal for an undisclosed but "substantial" sum will run from 2008-2012 with the new backers taking over from Budweiser.
The partnership was announced at the K Club, Co Kildare, this afternoon by managing director of Dubai Duty Free, and Galway man Colm McLoughlin who has overseen it's turnover grow to a forecast of $1bn for the coming year.
Curragh racecourse manager Paul Hensey always felt a big name would be secured for the blue riband event which will be the centre-piece of the three-day festival at the Kildare track which runs from June 27 to 29.
This year's feature race will have €1.5m in prize money.