Photo: Elina Björklund/Svensk Galopp
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Alex Cairns, representing ITM, and Jan-Erik Neuroth, representing owners Stall Perlen, after the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Amacitalöpning at Bro Park 2021.

Q&A with Alex Cairns of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing

7 March 2022 08:51

As the Scandinavian racing season approaches, we caught up with Alex Cairns, Scandinavian Representative of Irish Thoroughbred Marketing (ITM), to hear about the great success of Irish-sourced horses in Scandinavia and how ITM can help Scandinavian racing professionals.

What is ITM?

"ITM is the international promotional branch of Horse Racing Ireland, the national racing authority in Ireland. We promote the success and appeal of Irish thoroughbreds to the world and build relationships with international racing people through sponsorship, advertising, client relations, travel incentives, and much more. If any international person is interested in learning about, experiencing, or investing in the Irish racing industry then ITM is their all-access pass."

What is ITM’s involvement in Scandinavian racing?

"ITM has a long history in Scandinavia. It is always a pleasure to work with our many Scandinavian clients and welcome them to Ireland. We have hosted sponsorships in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden and will again be sponsoring races across Scandinavia in 2022. The winning owner of any ITM race in Scandinavia is awarded a €2,000 voucher to spend at Irish sales. As part of our sponsorships, we also host events to show our appreciation for the support we receive from our valued clients and give a taste of Ireland’s world-famous hospitality. When in Scandinavia we always enjoy visiting trainers, breeders, and owners and learning more about their approach and how we can help them. With the Covid situation now improving, we look forward to meeting clients in person this year and seeing them back in Ireland for the sales or other visits."

How can ITM help Scandinavian clients?

"ITM offers a wide range of services to make clients’ engagement with the Irish racing industry as easy and productive as possible. For example, we are currently offering a €500 travel incentive to Scandinavians attending Irish sales. Trainers and bloodstock agents receive this payment even if they don't buy a horse. For those travelling to Ireland for sales, we can help arrange hotels, airport transfers, car hire, and anything else that might be required. I am also often able to personally assist clients when visiting Ireland. Outside of the sales, we can help and advise on yard or farm visits, going racing, Irish stallions, equine properties for sale, facts and figures, and any aspect of Irish racing and breeding. Just get in touch and we will do the rest."

What success have Irish-sourced horses had in Scandinavia?

"Irish-sourced horses have been proudly flying the flag in Scandinavia for many years and there has been some phenomenal recent success. Take for example the last two Swedish Derby winners Bullof Wall Street and Stroxx Carlras, both of whom were bought as yearlings at Goffs in Ireland. Another Classic success was Goffs Orby buy Lot Of Joy who took the Swedish St Leger in 2021. And then there is Duca Di Como, the poster boy of Scandinavian racing, who was bought as a yearling at Goffs Sportsman’s Sale and then as a breeze-up horse at what is now Tattersalls Ireland Goresbridge Breeze-Up, Ireland’s only breeze-up sale. There have been great results on the breeding stock side too with Norwegian 1,000 Guineas winner and high-class Meydan performer Silent Night having been bought in utero at Goffs November Breeding Stock Sale."

Finally, tell us a bit about yourself

"I am based in County Kildare, which is known as ‘The Thoroughbred County’ and is at the heart of racing in Ireland. Alongside my market and client work, I contribute to all areas of ITM activity such as digital marketing, advertising, photography and video, barrier trials, the ITM Irish Stallion Trail, and everything in between. I have lived and worked in London, France, and South Korea in the past and love the international nature of horse racing. Having begun my interest in Scandinavian racing with trips to Aalborg Racecourse in Denmark and the Swedish Grand National at Strömsholm years ago, it has been a real joy to become more involved and get to know some great people in the process. Scandinavian racing seems to be on an upward trajectory and hopefully ITM can play even a small part in its continued success."

Get in touch with Alex at acairns@itm.ie or +353 (0)87 791 5690 and he will happy to provide personal assistance with anything you might need in Ireland. Follow ITM on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the best of Irish racing, breeding, and sales.

Get in touch with Alex at acairns@itm.ie or +353 (0)87 791 5690 and he will happy to provide personal assistance with anything you might need in Ireland. Follow ITM on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the best of Irish racing, breeding, and sales.

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