Straight from the horse’s mouth: 2016 marks the 80th anniversary of the Ulster Derby. Taking place at Down Royal on Saturday 18th June, the Magners Derby is the biggest and richest flat race of the season in Northern Ireland, the undoubted highlight of the two-day Summer Festival of Racing at Down Royal.
Thousands of spectators will be at Down Royal to take in the excitement of the €100,000 contest, an annual highlight of Northern Ireland’s social, as well as its sporting, calendar.
It’s also a race with more than its share of heritage, great sporting stories and a unique place in local affections. One man with great memories of the event is three times Magners Derby winner Chris Hayes who took time out from training to help launch the 2016 challenge alongside sponsor Julia Galbraith, Magners Brand Manager.
Looking forward to the big day, she said, “This is a race meet like no other, blending sporting challenge in pursuit of a €100,000 prize pot, with a unique sociability. Magners is a brand that is always at the heart of social occasions, so this much-loved event is an obvious fit. This year we’ll have an extra touch of style to mark the anniversary, with Magners Forbidden Flavours sponsoring the event’s fabulous Best Dressed competition with an amazing prize trip to Las Vegas on offer to the winner!
“The links between the Province’s Number One Cider and the Number One race meet of the year is set to be a winner for the two favourites. Like Magners, which last year celebrated 80 years since William Magner started to make his own cider, we’re delighted to discover that this race we sponsor is as old as our brand’s heritage! The brands have both come a long way in eighty years, by staying true to their respective roots.”
— Love Belfast ❤️ (@love_belfast) May 31, 2016
Looking forward to another fabulous Summer Festival of Racing, Mike Todd, General Manager of Down Royal, said, “The Magners Derby has long been the flagship flat race in Northern Ireland, attracting many names and top horses to Down Royal.
“Down Royal enjoys working with Magners on this race, and we’ve worked hard over the years to continue to introduce new, younger, audiences to the sport in general, enhancing the racing experience with fantastic facilities and a real sense of occasion. We are proud of the venue we offer today for both racing and socialising, and are particularly looking forward to the Magners Derby Day of this year’s Summer Festival of Racing.“