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Sunday 17 December 2017

Equality important in pay gap, says Des, but the best should get more

Pandora McCormick and Ryan Moore
Pandora McCormick and Ryan Moore

The best performers should receive the best pay regardless of gender, RTE's Des Cahill has said.

Des gave his thoughts on the gender pay gap row last night after he MC'd at an event to promote the annual Longines Irish Champions Weekend - which takes place at Leopardstown on September 9 and The Curragh on September 10.

"They are paying who they see as the best," the sports broadcaster said.

"Of course there should be equality. But I think at that top level, it goes to who pulls in the audience, who they feel is the attraction, or who might be sought after by other channels - and that's where things go a bit different.

"Up until you get to that top level, there should be equality. And then, after that, at the top, it goes to people who have more experience and pull in the audiences.

Glitziest

"It would not make sense if the person who didn't win the race got the same money as the person who wins the race."

Des was speaking of the upcoming Longines Irish Champions Weekend, which he said will be "the glitziest, richest, most powerful horse racing event".

"The horses that win in the classics in France and England and Ireland, these winners will all come together, the champions will come together," he said.

"So it will be like the Champions League Final.

"It's huge for Ireland. The best horses in the world are coming."

The two iconic feature races will be the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes and the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, part of a Triple Crown of top European race events.

The prize-money over the weekend totals €4.63m, to be won across 16 races - including five Group Ones.

London-based Irish actress Pandora McCormick will be the event's style ambassador, and the Longines Prize for Elegance will be €25,000.

Those present at the launch event included top jockeys Ryan Moore and Pat Smullen, and trainers Jim Bolger and Aidan O'Brien.

Bolger said the event "will be the centre-piece of European racing".

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