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2020 Irish Derby Schedule – Races to watch at the Curragh this weekend

  • The Irish Derby Festival takes place at the Curragh this weekend
  • 2020 Irish Derby to be run on Saturday 27th July
  • Pretty Polly Stakes headlines Sunday's card
  • Here's the full schedule and racecards for this Classic meeting
A view of the track at the Curragh. (Getty Images)

We look at the 2020 Irish Derby Festival schedule and highlight the races punters can look forward to at the Curragh this weekend.

This weekend sees the second Classic of the season take place over in Ireland, as the Curragh stages another thrilling renewal of the Irish Derby. Aidan O’Brien is the winning-most trainer in the Irish Derby, having saddled 13 winners down the years, and he’s sure to play a strong hand as he bids for a 11th victory in the last 15 years.

Usually, the Derby and the Oaks – the equivalent Classic race for fillies – are run on the same weekend. However, the Oaks doesn’t feature on the 2020 Irish Derby schedule, and will instead take place on July 18th.

The second day of this year’s Irish Derby Festival is headlined by the Pretty Polly Stakes. This historic 10-furlong contest has been run at the Curragh for over 40 years, and will provide punters with a first opportunity to see three-year-olds take on older horses in Group One company.

Let’s take a look at each day of the Irish Derby Festival and see what races punters can look forward to.

2020 Irish Derby Schedule Day One

Race Time
Race Title
4:15pmDubai Duty Free The Irish Village maiden
4:45pm Alleged Stakes (Group 3) (4yo+) 1m2f
5:15pmDubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Handicap
5:45pm Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise Celebration Stakes (Listed)
6:15pm Dubai Duty Free Millennium Millionaire Handicap
6:45pmGAIN First Flier Stakes (Listed)
7:15pmDubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1)
7:45pmComer Group International Vintage Crop Stakes (Group 3) (4yo+) 1m6f

*Full card yet to be released*

The first major pattern-race of the meeting is the Group Three Alleged Stakes, before seven-furlong handicappers get their chance to shine in the Millionaire Handicap. 

Next up is the 2020 Irish Derby, where Vatican City heads the market for Aidan O’Brien. Five of Vatican City’s stablemates are stacked up behind him in the market, with Crossfirehurricane – trained by Aidan’s son, Joseph – the only horse not based in Ballydoyle to currently hold a single-figure price.

Once the Irish Derby has been run, several possible Irish St Leger contenders will lock horns in the Vintage Crop Stakes. Sovereign could make his first appearance since shocking the world to win last year’s Irish Derby, and he could be joined in the field by Latrobe, Falcon Eight and Master Of Reality.

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2020 Irish Derby Schedule Day Two

Race Time
Race Title
2:00pmBarronstown Stud IEBF Maiden
2:35pmIEBF maiden
3:10pmFinlay Volvo Race
3:40pmPaddy Power Rockingham Handicap (Premier Handicap) (3yo+) 5f
4:10pmWeatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (Group 2) (4yo+) 6f
4:40pmJuddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes (Group 1) (3yo+) 1m2f
5:10pmEquine Medirecord Handicap
5:40pmIEBF Handicap

*Full card yet to be released*

Sunday’s viewers will be itching to sink their teeth into the Rockingham Handicap on Sunday. Joseph O’Brien’s Alligator Alley will look to give his elders a run for their money, while Urban Beat, Make A Challenge and Laugh A Minute also penciled in for a crack at the £44k first prize.

The six-furlong Greenland Stakes is up next at the Curragh, where Ger Lyon’s Buffer Zone will bid to repeat his victory in the Millionaire Handicap at this meeting 12 months ago.

We then reach the main event on day two, the Pretty Polly Stakes. At the head of the ratings we find Magical, who skipped a return to Royal Ascot for a crack at this prestigious prize. Aidan O’Brien’s four-time Group One winner could face stiff competition from last year’s Irish St Leger winner, Search For A Song and Willie Mullins Group Three winner, True Self


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