The race is the heart of the first day of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend and this year has attracted a further 42 top-class competitors, including some of the best stallions and mares in Europe. French Derby and Eclipse winner Vadeni, who was coached in France by Jean-Claude Rouget, a winning coach in 2016 with Almanzor, is currently leading the betting.
The agreement sees the Bahrain Turf Club sponsoring the prestigious race for six years and until 2027.
HH Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, Chairman of The Bahrain Turf Club said: “The Bahrain Turf Club is delighted to forge this partnership with Leopardstown and Horse Racing Ireland by sponsoring one of the most prestigious races in world racing, The Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes.
“Following our investment in the sport over the past few years, the Kingdom of Bahrain is now recognized as a Part Two nation of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities and it will be my ambition to continue to support our program to become a Part One nation which will host an international Group 1 in the near future.
“The future of our European sponsorship strategy will be focused on supporting the Kingdom of Bahrain’s burgeoning international racing programme, which is currently being spearheaded by the £600,000 1m2f Group 3, the Bahrain International Trophy, in November.”
Suzanne Eade, Managing Director of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “The Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes is a race that always delivers and next month’s renewal, the first to be held under the auspices of the Bahrain Turf Club, looks set to see one Race out to enjoy.
“I would like to thank His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa and the Bahrain Turf Club for this sponsorship. We are aware of the desire of the Kingdom of Bahrain to expand their racing product and Bahrain have had a presence in our sales for many years and also have a growing interest in banked blood in Ireland.”
Tim Husbands, Chief Executive of Leopardstown Racecourse said: “We are honored to welcome such a renowned and international brand, Bahrain Turf Club, to support our flagship flat race, the Irish Champion Stakes. This international support reinforces the importance of the Irish Champion Stakes on the Irish racing calendar.
We would like to thank His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa for the generous support. We look forward to working with His Highness and the Bahrain Turf Club on one of the world’s premier flat races, the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes.”