Irish Derby (2021)

The Dubai Duty-Free Irish Derby is the highlight of the flat racing season in Ireland. In fact, it has become one of the most prestigious racing events in the horse racing world. The Irish Derby takes place over three days and is a sporting occasion were horse racing fans get to see the best horses and jockeys while enjoying traditional Irish music, dancing, and fashion. The Irish Derby takes place on the Curragh Racecourse, which can be found in County Kildare and the Irish Derby 2021 dates are Friday 25th of June until Sunday 27th of June. In the following guide, you will find out all that you need to know about the Curragh Irish Derby Festival.

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2. William Hill William Hill
3. Bet365 Bet365

Race Schedule

As mentioned above, this festival takes place over the course of three days and there are 23 races that horse racing fans from all over the world can watch and enjoy. Below you will be able to find the schedules for the Irish Derby weekend, and you should take a look at these as they can be very useful to those who want to do a spot of Irish Derby betting. You should mark down the Irish Derby time of whatever races you are interested in so that you do not forget about it and forget to make your bets.

N.B. We have not been able to fill in the racecards completely as some of the races have not been determined yet. These are maiden races, which are races for those horses that have never won a race. These types of races are held over different distances and conditions. These are the lowest class of races and are there to act as an entry point into the horses' racing career. Also, there are handicap races, which is when the participating horses carry different weights depending on how good they are - the better the horse, the heavier the weight. Like the maiden races, these races often have less valuable horses running in them. When we have more information on these races closer to the time, we will update the tables.

Day 1 - Friday 25th June

Below is the action that is scheduled for Day One of the Irish Derby 2021. As you can see from the table, it is a day that is dominated by Maiden and Handicap races.

Start TimeRaceDistance
17.00pmIEBF MaidenN/A
17:30pmIEBF MaidenN/A
18:30pmTRI Equestrian Handicap7f
19:00pmAES Apprentice Jockeys Derby7f
19:30pmIEBF MaidenN/A
20:00pmIEBF Maiden1m 6f

Day 2 - Saturday 26th June

This is when the Irish Derby, the biggest race of the event takes place. As a result, it is the day that horse racing fans look forward to the most. Irish Derby winners in the past used to bag a prize of close to €1 million, but due to the current pandemic, prizes throughout the horse racing world have been significantly cut, meaning the winner will now bag Irish Derby prize money of a little over €400,000. Still, not a bad haul for a year's work, if you ask us.

If you are familiar with the Royal Ascot, then you will know that they have a Ladies' Day, and the Curragh Irish Derby Festival also has one too, and it is always on Saturday. On this day, all the women dress up in their best outfits and at the end of the day, the Irish Derby best dressed Lady is announced.

Below you can find the Irish Derby race card for the second day of this festival.

Start TimeRaceDistance
14.00pmDubai Duty Free Dash6f
14.35pmDubai Duty Free Summer Fillies Handicap7f
15.05pmARM Holding International Stakes1m and 2f
15.35pmGAIN Railway Stakes6f
16:10pmDubai Duty Free Irish Derby1m 4f
16:45pmDubai Duty Free Celebration Stakes1m
17:15pmDubai Duty Free Derby Festival Handicap1m 4f
17:45pmDubai Duty Free Handicap7f

Day 3 - Sunday 27th June

The big race on the final day of this entertaining event is the Pretty Polly Stakes. This race is named after the famous horse, Pretty Polly, who won 22 races from the 24 she ran in. At one stage in her career, she managed to win 15 races in a row. In 1904, she became just the fifth filly in history to land the British Fillies Triple Crown. She was a true Irish great and it is only right that a race was named after her. Below is the full racecard for the final day of the Dubai Irish Derby.

Start TimeRaceDistance
13.40pmBarronstown Stud IEBF Maiden6f
14.10pmSherry Fitzgerald Country Homes Hdcp6f
14.40pmAirlie Stud Stakes6f
15.10pmPaddy Power Rockingham Handicap5f
15:45pmAlmasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes10f
16:20pmComer Group International Curragh Cup1m 6f
16:50pmRagusa IEBF Handicap7f
17:20pmIEBF MaidenN/A

Irish Derby Betting: Runners and Odds

As you can see from the above schedule, the Irish horse derby has numerous races that horse racing fans across Ireland, Britain, and the rest of the world can put bets on. Over the course of the weekend, many of the best flat racing horses from around the world come together to provide us all with plenty of entertainment.

Not only is there a tidy amount of prize money up for grabs for the jockeys, owners, and trainers, especially those who win the main race, the Irish Derby, but horse racing fans who do their homework can also make a nice profit over the course of the event.

In the following section, we are going to give you some useful Irish Derby tips and you can find out more about Irish Derby winners history that can help you when you are thinking about who to bet on for the big races such as the Irish Derby.

However, before we go ahead and do that, we are going to give you a table with the Irish Derby odds. In this table, you will find all the runners, the odds that the best bookmakers around are giving them, and who has trained each horse. It is always helpful to know the favourites for a race as well as the trainers because they can have a big impact on who ends up victorious.

Since we are around two months away from the Irish Derby, the bookmakers have not yet provided their odds for the race. Furthermore, the lineup for the race is not yet known, meaning we do not know which horses will be running in the event. Thus, closer to the time, we shall update the table below with the Irish Derby 2021 odds and all of the other relevant information.

Irish Derby Tips

When it comes down to betting on the Irish Derby, or any horse race for that matter, you can dive straight in and start betting without having done any research, but if this is your main strategy then you are just going to end up losing more money than you win. While there is a chance that you might win the odd race here and there with this strategy, more often than not you will be on the losing end. Below we are going to provide you with some tips that we recommend you keep in mind when you are trying to decide what horse to place a bet on.

The Importance of Trainers

When novices are betting on horses, they often do not pay much attention to who trained the horse. However, this is a big mistake to make as the trainers are just as important as the jockeys. A horse that is poorly trained is one that will struggle to do well in the big races.

Therefore, before you go ahead and bet on a race such as the Irish Derby, we recommend that you take a look at stats from previous Irish Derby races to see if a trainer's name pops up on a consistent basis. If you check out the horses that have won the Irish Derby from 2000 onwards, you will find that 13 of the 20 winners have been trained by A P O'Brien. He has been successful at all of the big racing events and is considered by many to be one of the best horse trainers to ever exist. So, when it comes to betting on the Irish Derby, you will definitely not be doing yourself any harm by taking a look at the horses that he has trained.

Jockeys Are Also Important

We would say that trainers are more important than jockeys, but this does not mean that they do not play an important role. Even the best-trained horse might struggle to do well if they have an incompetent rider sitting on their back. Therefore, just like with the trainers, before you go ahead and make a bet, you should have a look at the recent race history to see if a particular jockey has been doing well in it as of late.

If you look at the recent Irish Derby races, you will see that Seamie Heffernan has won two of the last four races, and both times those horses were trained by A P O'Brien. So, when the line-up for the 2021 Irish Derby is released, take a look at the jockeys and trainers, and if there is one that is being raced by Heffernan and trained by O'Brien, it would be wise to consider placing a bet on it.

Previous Trends for the Irish Derby

Before you go ahead and place a bet on a horse race, no matter what race it is, you should take some time to look at the trends from previous Irish Derby runners as getting an insight into what has come before can be very useful when it comes to being a successful bettor. Thus, below we are going to take a look at some of the trends from the Irish Derby over the last 12 years:

  • Out of the last 12 winners, six of them have started as favourites, while all but there had started the race in the top 3
  • From the last 12 winners, 6 of them won their previous race before the Irish Derby, while all 12 had run their last race within the previous 28 days
  • Out of the previous 12 winners, 8 of them ran in the Epsom Derby, with 3 of them winning it and 3 placing
  • From the last 12 winners, 5 had run at least 1 race at Curragh, while 4 of them had at least one win at Curragh
  • All of the last 12 winners have run 4 flat races prior to this race, and all winners had earned at least 1 previous flat race win, while 10 had 2 previous flat race wins
Top Bookmakers
1. Lad​brokes Sports Lad​brokes Sports
2. William Hill William Hill
3. Bet365 Bet365

Free Bets

So, now that we have provided you with some useful information that will hopefully help you when it comes to betting on Irish Derby the Curragh, we are going to move onto free bets. Most bookies nowadays will offer new players free bets as a means to try and get new customers to open an account with them. Free bets are not all equal, so below you will find a table that highlights the leading bookmakers based on their free bet offers and the horse racing events that they cover.

These free bets can be used on whatever racing events you like (or whatever sporting event you want to bet on), but we recommend that you make use of them during the Irish Derby so that you can make a profit without having to risk any of your own hard-earned money.

Irish Derby Free Bets
Bet365Up to €100 of bet credits. Claim Now
William HillBet €10 and receive €40 worth of free bets. Claim Now
888 SportBet €10 on your first horse race and get 6 x €5 free bets. Claim Now
BetVictorBet €10 and receive €40 worth of bonuses. Claim Now
UnibetUp to €40 back if you lose your first race as well as €10 casino bonus. Claim Now

N.B. Bonuses change all the time because bookies have to always come up with some new ways to stay ahead of their competitors. Thus, there is a slight chance that if you opt to pay a visit to the website of one of the bookies in the table above that the bonuses are not the same. This is something that we are not in control of, but we must emphasise the fact that we always try to keep our pages as updated as possible. However, even if a bonus has changed and we have happened to miss it, we are sure that the new bonus on offer will be as good or better than the one we have highlighted in the table.


Due to the fact that Irish Derby is still a number of weeks away, the runners for this prestigious race are yet to be finalised, but as we get closer to the day, we will get a bigger picture as to who will be running and who the favourites will be. Favourites will change constantly as some horses lose their form or get a knock that could impact their success at the Irish Derby. Closer to the time, we shall take a closer look at the horses that are considered favourites.

In the meantime, below you can find other news that could be helpful to you.

A P O'Brien Is Looking to Tie Down His Legendary Status

In 2020, the horse that won the Irish Derby was Santiago and he was trained by A P O'Brien. This was O'Brien's 14th winner at the Irish Derby, while the horses that came in second, third, and fourth place (Tiger Moth, Dawn Patrol, and Order of Australia) were all trained by O'Brien.

He is already a legend in the horses racing world, but like any great of any sport, he wants more. He will be looking to add a 15th Irish Derby title to his career highlights when the Curragh Horse Racing Festival comes around.

Jockeys to Keep a Lookout for at the Irish Derby 2021

There are plenty of great jockeys out there, but some just seem to have that little bit more than their rivals. If a jockey has had continuous success, then it is a clear sign that they know what they are doing. Some of the jockeys that you should keep a lookout for at the next Irish Derby are Pat Smullen, Seamie Heffernan, Donnacha O'Brien, and Padraig Beggy. Now, we do not know whether all of these will be racing in the 2021 Irish Derby yet, but if they are then you will not be doing yourself any harm by backing the horses that they are riding.

There Will Likely Be No Attendance

Due to the pandemic currently blighting the world, it is very unlikely that horse racing fans will be allowed to attend Curragh this year. If they are, then it will be at a reduced capacity, meaning that you will probably have to watch the race from home. Thankfully, there are a number of great ways that you can do this. We are going to take a look at the main ones right now:

Freeview: It is likely that the races will be aired on Freeview channels such as Channel 4 or ITV 3. Check a bit closer to the time so that you can get an idea as to when the action will start for this prestigious meeting.

Racing TV: When it comes down to horse racing TV channels in the Republic of Ireland and the UK, it is fair to say that Racing TV should be your go-to channel. It shows horse races from 35 different tracks in Great Britain and 26 tracks in Ireland. Throughout the year they show thousands of races, and a lot of them are exclusive to Racing TV. British fans of horse racing can access this channel if they are subscribed to Virgin or Sky, while Irish fans of horse racing can watch it if they are subscribed to Virgin, Sky, or Vodafone.

Bookmakers: Placing bets on horses has become a popular hobby for many now, which is why bookies offer a number of live streams for racing events that take place around the world. All of the best sportsbooks out there will stream races from the Curragh Festival, and you just need to sign in to your account in order to enjoy them.

A Look Back at the Previous Year

The Irish Derby in 2020 was won by Santiago, and he was being raced by Heffernan and trained by A P O'Brien. Santiago was the favourite to win, so he lived up to his reputation that day. Below you will find a detailed results table that highlights what happened in the 2020 version of this race.

Horses in Finishing OrderJockeyTrainerOdds
SantiagoS HeffernanA P O'Brien2/1f
Tiger MothE McNamaraA P O'Brien11/1
Dawn PatrolR P WhelanA P O'Brien10/1
Order of AustraliaP B BeggyA P O' Brien33/1
Fiscal RulesK J ManningJ S Bolger15/2
Gold MazeS FoleyMrs J Harrington18/1
New York GirlD McDonaghJ P O'Brien20/1
SunchartB M CoenA Slattery80/1
Arthur's KingdomW M LordanA P O'Brien7/1
CrossfirehurricaneS M CrosseJ P O'Brien8/1
King of the ThroneR BlackmoreE Mullins80/1
IberiaM C HusseyA P O'Brien25/1
ChiricahuaC T KeanesG M Lyons40/1


When is the Irish Derby?

The Irish Derby will take place on Saturday the 26th of June 2021.

At What Time is the Irish Derby?

The Irish Derby is scheduled to be run at 16:10 on the 26th of June.

Who Will Win the Irish Derby?

This question cannot be answered right now due to the fact that the participating horses have not yet been released.

Where Can I Watch the Irish Derby?

You will be able to watch the Irish Derby on freeview television or via a live stream from your bookmaker. Nowadays, most bookies will happily stream horse racing events for their customers.

Is the 2021 Irish Derby Being Held Behind Closed Doors?

Unfortunately, it looks like that is going to be the case. If not, then attendance will be severely reduced.

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