Harzand, Minding, Almanzor, Found, Fascinating Rock, Highland Reel, New Bay, Qemah, Jet Setting, Order Of St George, Persuasive, Boynton, Capri, Churchill and Rhododendron head final entries for Leopardstown and the Curragh.
A magical weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh awaits as the big names have all stood their ground for the five Group 1 races and the supporting cards on Longines Irish Champions Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
Harzand, the dual Derby winner, and six-time Group 1 winner Minding head the 17 horses remaining in the €1.25m Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday. The pair could be joined by the last two Prix Du Jockey Club winners, Almanzor and New Bay while Fascinating Rock, Found, Highland Reel, the 2014 winner The Grey Gatsby, Hawkbill and Epsom Derby runner-up US Army Ranger are also engaged. Aidan O’Brien has strengthened his hand by supplementing Sir Isaac Newton and the champion trainer has six horses remaining in the race.
A total of 12 horses have accepted for the Group 1 Coolmore Matron Stakes headed by Qemah who added to her Group 1 Coronation Stakes success at Royal Ascot with a comfortable win in the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville at the end of July. John Gosden’s Persuasive and Jet Setting, trained by Adrian Keatley, remain in the €350,000 contest while Aidan O’Brien has left in Minding, Alice Springs and Somehow.
Last year’s impressive winner Order Of St George heads the 13 horses remaining in the €400,000 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday. Aidan O’Brien’s star stayer could be joined by his stable companion Bondi Beach and the Willie Mullins-trained pair, Clondaw Warrior and last year’s third, Wicklow Brave. Although remaining in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, Success Days, trained by Ken Condon, also features among the entries for the final Classic of the season.
Twelve horses remain in the €350,000 Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes with the first four horses home in the Group 2 Breast Cancer Research Debutante Stakes, Rhododendron, Hydrangea, Intricately and Rehana set to clash again. A fascinating renewal is certainly in store as the quartet could be joined by the Dermot Weld-trained Eziyra.
Aidan O’Brien’s Capri and Churchill head a field of 17 acceptors for the €350,000 Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes. In total, O’Brien is responsible for nine entries and the race could also feature four British-trained runners, Charlie Appleby’s pair Boynton and Salsabeel, Lockheed, trained by William Haggas and the Richard Hannon-trained Mehmas.
Pat Keogh, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse, said, “Longines Irish Champions Weekend is one of the major racing events of the year and the entries have certainly lived up to expectation. It is particularly good to see so many English and French horses in the fields. This international competition adds something very special to the mix. We are all set for what promises to be one of the best day’s racing we have ever seen at Leopardstown.”
Derek McGrath, CEO of the Curragh Racecourse, said, “I’m delighted with the entries for all the Curragh races after final forfeit. We are looking forward to a competitive day with three high quality Group 1s which are certainly races to savour. Longines Irish Champions Weekend is shaping up to be a very special event which I think is what attracts the real racegoer. It is important to use the weekend to sell the Irish racing message to a global audience.”
Click here for our Longines Irish Champions Weekend playlist with quotes from numerous trainers
Prices for Longines Irish Champions Weekend supplied by Paddy Power
QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes
Paddy Power: 7-4 Minding, 11-4 Harzand, 6 Almanzor, 7 Fascinating Rock, 8 Found, Highland Reel, 12 New Bay, 14 US Army Ranger, Hawkbill, 20 Success Days, Moonlight Magic, 25 Sir Isaac Newton, The Grey Gatsby, 33 My Dream Boat, 50 Long Island Sound, 100 Ebidyin, 200 The Steward
Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes
Paddy Power: 6-4 Qemah, 9-2 Persuasive, 5 Alice Springs, 6 Minding, Volta, 7 Jet Setting, 8 Somehow, 12 Now Or Never, 16 Hawksmoor, 20 Devonshire, 33 Creggs Pipes, 50 Ashadihan
Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger
Paddy Power: 1-3 Order Of St George, 7 Bondi Beach, 12 Forgotten Rules, 14 Housesofparliament, 16 Sword Fighter, 20 Clondaw Warrior, Trip To Paris, Wicklow Brave, 25 Clever Cookie, Success Days, 33 Unicorn, 50 Silwana, Kellstorm
Moyglare Stud Stakes
Paddy Power: 10-11 Rhodedendron, 2 Promise To Be True, 6 Intricately, 7 Hydrangea, 10 Rehana, 12 Brave Anna, Eziyra, 33 Wayside Flower, 50 Bound, Wild Irish Rose, 66 Dawn Of A New Era, 100 Elizabeth Browning
Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes
Paddy Power: 2-5 Churchill, 4 Mehmas, 5 Boynton, 12 Capri, Psychedelic Funk, 14 Arcada, 20 Lockheed, Peace Envoy, Salsabeel, Utah, 33 Finn McCool, Lancaster Bomber, Son Of Rest, Taj Mahal, 50 Courage Under Fire, Sir Edwin Landseer, 100 Eagle Spirit
Longines Irish Champions Weekend Specials
Any race to dead heat for first place 25-1
Any winner first past the post to be disqualified following a stewards enquiry 33-1
Longines Irish Champions Weekend & Future Racing Doubles
Churchill to Win Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes & Dewhurst 9-4
Churchill to Win Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes & English 2000 Guineas 13-2
Minding to Win QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes & Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 10-1
Harzand to Win QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes & Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 12-1
Order Of St George to Win Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger & Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 12-1
Rhododendron to Win Moyglare Stud Stakes & English 1000 Guineas 20-1
Found to Win QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes & Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe 66-1
Longines Irish Champions Weekend Top Jockey
Paddy Power: 1-10 Ryan Moore, 5 Pat Smullen, 8 Seamie Heffernan, 33 Donnacha O’Brien, 66 Colin Keane, 100 Chris Hayes.