Last weekend’s Epsom and French Derby winners Masar and
Study Of Man join Cracksman and Enable in a stellar entry of 56 for this
September’s QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.
The race is the highlight on the opening day of Longines
Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 15 with the
entry for Comer Group International Irish St Leger, at the Curragh on Sunday,
September 16, headed by the leading stayer, Order Of St George.
Cracksman, the top three-year-old in the world last year,
and the brilliant Enable, winner of five Group 1 races last season, feature among
five entries for trainer John Gosden.
The last six winners of the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes have
all come from overseas and the chances of that becoming seven must be strong
because as well as Gosden’s quintet, Epsom hero Masar is among trainer Charlie
Appleby’s two entries.
Of the 56 entries, 20 horses are trained overseas, including
the Pascal Bary-trained Study Of Man, who stormed to French Derby success on
Sunday at Chantilly. Prix du Jockey Club winners have a fine recent record in
the race with The Grey Gatsy (2014) and Almanzor (2016) both winning the QIPCO
Irish Champion Stakes.
Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien boasts a typically strong
entry, including Newmarket Guineas winner Saxon Warrior, the highly-regarded
Amedeo Modigliani and Group 1-winning fillies Hydrangea and Rhododendron.
The winners of both Irish Classics run so far this season are
also in the early mix with Ken Condon’s Romanised and the Jessica
Harrington-trained Alpha Centauri holding entries, along with Dermot Weld’s
Hazapour, who ran such a fine race at Epsom on Saturday.
One of four Group 1 races at the Curragh on Sunday, September
16, the Comer Group International Irish St Leger tops the bill on the second
day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
Order Of St George is chasing a third success in the race
after wins in 2015 and again last year. The Jim Bolger-trained Twilight Payment
was runner-up to the Ballydoyle star in the Listed Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at
Leopardstown and is likely to re-oppose as is Jessica Harrington’s Torcedor, second
to him in this race last September.
Also featuring among Aidan O'Brien’s entries are the
three-year-olds Southern France, Kew Gardens and Delano Roosevelt but the
biggest threat to their illustrious stable companion could be the
He impressed when beating Desert Skyline in the Group 2
Yorkshire Cup two weeks ago and the pair have been entered by John Gosden and
David Elsworth respectively. Sound Check, the promoted winner of the Group 2 Comer
Group International 47th Oleander-Rennen at Hoppegarten, has been entered by
German trainer Peter Schiergen.
Brian Kavanagh, Chief
Executive of Horse Racing Ireland:
“International competition is central to the further
development of Longines Irish Champions Weekend and with the high-class entries
for both the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and the Comer Group International
Irish St Leger, we can be happy with the progress the event is making on the
Keogh, CEO, Leopardstown Racecourse:
“The QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes has established
itself as one of the top 10 furlong races in the world. It is a race that every
owner, trainer and jockey want to win and that is reflected in the quality and
spread of this year’s entries. We are very grateful to QIPCO for their support
of the race.”
McGrath CEO, Curragh Racecourse:
“The Comer Group International Irish St
Leger has grown in stature and prestige since becoming one of the major
highlights of Longines Irish Champions Weekend and is an important target for
the top staying horses in Europe. Targeting international runners for our major
races is an important element of enhancing our race programme so it is very
gratifying to see so many top class entries from Britain and Germany among the
entries this year to add to a star studded line up of home trained contenders.”
CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO ENTRIES FOR QIPCO IRISH CHAMPION STAKES
CLICK HERE FOR LINK TO ENTRIES FOR COMER GROUP INTERNATIONAL IRISH ST LEGER