Tipperary Racecourse, Limerick Junction, Tipperary Directions


The Fairy Bridge Stakes Upgraded to Group 3

Friday, 13 January 2012

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) today announced a further strengthening of the Irish Flat Black Type programme, having secured European Pattern Committee approval for the promotion of two races from Listed to Group 3 status including the Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary, for 2012

The two new Group 3 races (2012 dates shown) are:

  • 23rd August - Tipperary - Fairy Bridge - 7½f  - 3yo+F
  • 25th August - Curragh - Irish St Leger Trial - 14f - 3yo+

Additionally two new Listed races are being created for 2012:

  • 27th June - Naas - 10f - 3yoF 
  • Late July/early August - Galway - 7f-  3yo+F 

Announcing these changes, HRI Director of Racing, Jason Morris said: “The promotion of these races to Group 3 status and the creation of the two new Listed races further re-enforces HRI’s commitment towards its key strategic policy of encouraging the production and retention of high quality horses in Ireland under both codes. The success of this policy was reflected in the World Thoroughbred Rankings announced this week, with 6 of the top 10 and 14 of the top 30 two-year-olds in the world in 2011 being trained in Ireland. The changes announced today will further strengthen the programme for older fillies, encouraging the retention of high quality mares in Ireland and thereby providing a boost to the breeding industry. Ireland has achieved tremendous success in staying races in recent years, winning the last six renewals of the Ascot Gold Cup, and a further Group 3 race will provide a welcome additional Pattern opportunity in this distance category.”

 Jane Davis, Tipperary Manager, said: “We are very pleased to have secured the promotion of the Fairy Bridge Stakes to Group 3 status, giving Tipperary a second Flat Group race in addition to our three Flat Listed races. The 2011 race won by John Oxx’s Alanza was an extremely strong contest, including international participation, and we look forward to another high quality renewal at our summer evening meeting on 23rd August this year.”

 Paul Hensey, Curragh Manager, commented: “The upgrading of the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes (registered as the Ballycullen) is welcome news, as it will provide a further boost for the Irish staying race programme. It is a race which has attracted some outstanding champions such as Vinnie Roe, Alandi and Fame And Glory, and the race fully deserves its promotion to Group 3 status as the pre-eminent trial for the Irish St Leger.”

 Tom Ryan, Naas Manager, stated: “The upgrading of the fillies race here on 27th June is another boost to our progressive flat programme. It will add an extra spark to the start of our BBQ evening series, which was very successful in 2011. Naas Racecourse remains committed to improving its summer schedule at every opportunity.”

John Moloney, Galway Manager, observed: “We are delighted that Galway will be staging a first Flat Black type race at our Summer Festival with the addition of a new Listed contest over 7 furlongs for three-year-old and upwards fillies and mares.”