Racing at the Curragh on Saturday had an added dose of Glamour with high-end Jewellers Boodles on board as sponsors of the Ladies Derby, the most valuable race in Europe just for women jockeys.
They also paired up with Powerscourt Hotel Resort and Spa to back a €10,000 prize for the best-dressed racegoers.
Sport for Business caught up with Boodles Director James Amos for a chat about how they got involved and what they gained from an association with the sport and The Curragh.
SfB: How did Boodles make an initial connection with The Curragh?
James Amos: We were originally involved with The Goffs Millions back in 2007.
Through that connection, we got to know The Curragh and realised what a lot of great opportunities it offered to look after our best customers each summer.
Is there a close link between your customer profile and the glamour associated with racing in high summer?
Absolutely. What better time to wear your Boodles jewellery than a day at the races.
We are involved with two or three high profile race meetings in the UK, and horse racing has become one of our two most important entertaining channels, along with tennis.
A major advantage is that both sports are enjoyed equally by both men and women.
Your locations are all very glamorous, could you envisage a long-term relationship at the Curragh as part of the new redevelopment of the racecourse for 2019?
It is something we have talked about in the past – I’d be delighted if The Curragh wanted to incorporate Boodles into the fittings and furniture of the new Grandstand.
How do you feel Irish racegoers compare to British ones in terms of putting on the style?
Very favourably. Irish racegoers love getting into the spirit of the day and there are always some magnificent hats around. The best-dressed competition is always extremely difficult to judge.
Is your Irish business different in any way from what you see in London and across Britain?
We aim to give a consistent experience of Boodles to clients across all of our branches, whilst recognising that small cultural differences occur between Ireland and the UK and even across the different British regions.
Encouragingly, business in Ireland seems to be very strong at the moment, and the addition of Patek Philippe to our offering a couple of years ago has made a big difference for us.
The Curragh Racecourse redevelopment is on track for handover at the end of this year and in time for a full opening ahead of next season’s racing. The new grandstand is now clearly visible rising from the rubble of the old. It promises to be one of the finest and most advanced racecourse facilities in the world.