THE RACE TIMES for the opening day of Leopardstown’s Longines Irish Champions Weekend have been changed to avoid a clash with the All-Ireland football final replay between Dublin and Kerry.

Yesterday’s draw at Croke Park has resulted in a replay being scheduled for Saturday 14 September.

Horse Racing Ireland have reacted by announcing today that their card has been changed for the day with racing to begin that Saturday 1.55pm. The feature race, the OIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, will move to an earlier slot at 4.15pm and the last of the five races to be televised live on RTÉ will go off at 5.25pm.

The change has also been made to accommodate a significant Japanese TV audience due to the exploits of Deirdre, the first ever Japanese-trained runner in Ireland, who will contend in the main race of the day.

“On a fantastic day of sporting action, we will cater for those who would like to see one of the best race meetings of the year and one of the highlights of the season, as well as the All-Ireland final replay,”  said Leopardstown CEO Pat Keogh.

“We will be bringing a big screen experience to the football replay and, as we have seen during the Dublin Racing Festival and the Six Nations, there is an incredible atmosphere watching big games on the big screens at Leopardstown.

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“The news that Green Channel will show the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes live on their channel is fantastic news for the profile of the race and we’ve been inundated with media requests from Japan which underlines the interest there in their brilliant race mare, Deirdre.”

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