The Roger Varian-trained Fujaira Prince and Joseph O'Brien’s
Twilight Payment head a field of eight for the Comer Group International
Irish St Leger on day two of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh
Successful at Royal Ascot and again in the Ebor at York, Fujaira Prince heads
the early betting with Twilight Payment which has enjoyed Curragh wins in the
Group 3 Comer Group Vintage Crop Stakes and the Group 2 Comer Group
International Curragh Cup since joining Joseph O'Brien who rode Order Of St
George to win the race in 2015, his final Irish Classic and Irish Group 1
victory as a jockey.
Search For A Song was a brilliant winner last year and she will be bidding to
give trainer Dermot Weld a record-equalling ninth win in the race and match
Vintage Crop, which won back-to-back renewals for Weld in 1993 and 1994. His
Vinnie Roe won the race for four consecutive years from 2001 to 2004 while
Voleuse De Coeurs triumphed in 2013.
Aidan O'Brien runs last year’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Sovereign
and Passion while Willie Mullins, who won the race with Wicklow Brave in
2016, has Micro Manage, Jessica Harrington runs Barbados and race sponsor
Luke Comer is represented by Raa Atoll, a Group 2 winner at Hoppegarten in
Germany last year.
Fourteen ready to challenge Hogan’s hero in Flying Five
No stranger to success at the Curragh, Make A Challenge tops the 15 runners
for the Group 1 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes. Denis Hogan’s charge has
won five races at the Curragh and, along with the Paddy Twomey-trained
Sonailya, bids to keep a strong British challenge at bay.
The raiding party is headed by the Kevin Ryan-trained Glass Slippers, winner
of last season’s Prix de l´Abbaye at Longchamp, Simon & Ed Crisford’s
A’Ali which beat Make A Challenge to win the Group 2 Holden Plant Rentals
Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh in July and the Michael Dods-trained Que
Amoro, runner-up in the recent Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes.
O’Brien brothers set for Moyglare showdown
While they shared success in the Moyglare Stud Stakes with Intricately in
2016, a first Group 1 winner as a trainer for Joseph and a first Group 1
winner as a jockey for Donnacha, the O’Brien brothers are very much in
opposite corners for the latest renewal.
Pretty Gorgeous, trained by Joseph, and Donnacha’s Shale were first and
second in the Group 2 A.R.M Debutante Stakes over this course and distance
last month and they clash again in a field of 13 runners that includes Ken
Condon’s Teresa Mendoza and Thunder Beauty, Jim Bolger’s Aunty Bridy, the
Aidan O'Brien-trained Mother Earth and A Ma Chere, trained by Dermot Weld and
running in the colours of the race sponsor.
Appleby runner ready for the battle
A Group 2 winner and unbeaten in two starts, Master Of The Seas is out to
give trainer Charlie Appleby his third consecutive victory in the Group 1
Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes. Royal Ascot winner Battleground,
trained by Aidan O'Brien might well provide the greatest opposition and from
an Irish point of view, he’s ably backed-up by Lucky Vega, the three and a
half-length winner of the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh for
Also in the mix is Jim Bolger’s Group 2 Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes
winner Mac Swiney. The John Murphy-trained Charterhouse and Joseph O'Brien’s
Thunder Moon, both supplemented for the race on Tuesday, feature among the
final field of 11.
Pepper adds spice to Blandford Stakes
Second in two of the Curragh’s summer highlights, the Group 1 Alwasmiyah
Pretty Polly Stakes and Juddmonte Irish Oaks, Cayenne Pepper will be a
leading fancy for the Group 2 Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes. However,
there is no shortage of opposition to Jessica Harrington’s filly with the Ger
Lyons-trained Lemista seeking to stretch her unbeaten run to five following
her win in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes at the Curragh in July.
Aidan O'Brien is well represented with Magic Wand and Elfin Queen while
Joseph O'Brien runs his recent Curragh Group 3 Snow Fairy Stakes winner
Thundering Nights and Bolleville. Dermot Weld has won five of the last six
renewals of the race and he runs both Zawara and Amma Grace and Roger Varian
goes with his York winner, Gold Wand. The final field of 11 is completed by
Celestial Object and One Voice, two more for Jessica Harrington.
Biggest fields reserved for Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale
Stakes and Irish EBF handicaps
Twenty runners have been confirmed for the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction
Sale Stakes with the Tracey Collins-trained Livingston Range and Michael
Mulvany’s The Blue Panther among those in against a British raiding party
that includes Star Of Orion, Night On Earth and Bowman.
There are five British-trained runners among the 22 in the Irish Stallion
Farms EBF ‘Bold Lad’ Sprint with Treacherous, Curragh winner Mr Lupton and
Highland Dress in the team taking on a home defence that includes Romantic
Proposal and Big Gossey, winners at Irish racing’s headquarters already this
Matthew Smith won the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Northfields’ Handicap with
One Cool Poet a year ago and Flaming Moon gives him a fine chance of a
follow-up victory. The Johnny Murtagh-trained Sonnyboyliston and Joe Murphy’s
Insignia Of Rank are also among the 22 runners for the final race of Longines
Irish Champions Weekend 2020.
Pat Keogh, CEO of the Curragh Racecourse, said: “Day two of Longines Irish
Champions Weekend is one of the best day’s racing every year. We are
delighted with the quality of this morning’s declarations and it is great to
see so many English horses here to take on the local stars. With four Group 1
races including the final Classic of the year, the Comer Group International
Irish St Leger, this is as good as it gets.”
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