Naas boss welcomes upgrades in a big year for track
Naas manager Tom Ryan on Thursday welcomed the upgrading of the Mooresbridge Stakes, the Alleged Stakes and the Loughbrown Stakes, all of which will be run at the track for the first time this year due to development work being carried out at the Curragh.
Ryan said: "It's a big year for Naas as we've got four Curragh fixtures and will start and finish the Irish Flat season on March 26 and November 5."
The Mooresbridge on May 1 is upgraded to Grade 2 level, while the Alleged on April 8 and the Loughbrown on September 24 have been raised from Listed to Group 3 level.
Ryan added: "We were very happy to have those important races switched to Naas and the upgrades announced this week are very much the cherry on the cake for us."
The 1m2f Mooresbridge, for four-year-olds and up, has been won in recent years by the likes of So You Think, Camelot, Fascinating Rock and, last year, Found.
Another change to the Pattern programme in Ireland involves the 1m1f Eyrefield Stakes, for two-year-olds at Leopardstown on October 28, which has been raised from Listed to Group 3 status, while new Listed races will be run at the Curragh and Navan.
The Curragh will stage a five-furlong event for three-year-olds and up on May 14, while Navan gains a mile-and-five-furlong contest for three-year-olds on May 20, plus a two-year-old sprint on October 8.