Four of the weekend’s big winners at the Curragh
sealed their automatic place in the line-up for a quartet of Group 1 events at
the upcoming Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
The Aga Khan-owned Shamreen’s impressive success in the Qatar Airways Royal Whip
Stakes for trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen has earned her free entry
in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday September 9.
Elsewhere the red-hot form of Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard continued through
the weekend’s racing and three big race victories added to his potential team
for the Group 1 races at the Curragh on day two of Longines Irish Champions
Weekend on Sunday September 10.
On Saturday, leading stayer Order Of St George landed his third consecutive
victory in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger Trial, thereby sealing
his automatic place in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, a race in
which he won in 2015 and was second last year.
Ballydoyle’s strength in depth in the juvenile division was further underlined
with victories for Rostropovich in the Galileo Irish EBF Futurity Stakes and
Magical in the Breast Cancer Research Debutante Stakes.
Rostroprovich’s victory gains him his place in the Goffs Vincent O’Brien
National Stakes at the Curragh on September 10, while Magical receives free
entry in the Moyglare Stud Stakes on the same day.
Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “There are less
than three weeks to go to the Longines Irish Champions Weekend and the big
races are really taking shape. We saw some high quality racing at the Curragh
over the weekend and not alone can we anticipate the four winners of those
‘Free Entry Scheme’ races to turn up for the big event on September 9 and 10,
but there were plenty more in action who will fancy their chances of revenge.”
commented: “We were delighted with both Rostropovich and Coat Of Arms in
the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh. Rostropovich probably wasn’t mad about the
ground but he stayed going well. Looking at him in his races I’d think he will
stay further than seven furlongs but on nicer ground a race like the National
Stakes would be possible. On better ground he might travel better so it is
possible he will be in our thoughts for the National Stakes.
“Order Of St George is in good form and he did everything right in the Irish St
Leger Trial on Saturday. He handled the ease in the ground well and stays very
well. In all fairness to Order Of St George, he is a very consistent horse and
the plan is for him to come back to the Curragh for the Irish St Leger. He had
a break after Royal Ascot so it was nice to get him back going and Ryan (Moore)
was very happy with him.”
Aidan continued: “Donnacha (O’Brien) was delighted with Magical in the
Debutante Stakes on Sunday. She handled the ground well and she’s a nice filly.
We ran three in the Debutante Stakes all with the view of coming back here for
the Moyglare Stud Stakes. Ryan thought that Happily would quicken better on
better ground and Seamus (Heffernan) felt the same for September but it was her
first run back since Royal Ascot and she’ll come on for that. If the ground is
not too soft they will all come back for the Moyglare with Clemmie. We’ve been
happy with Clemmie since Newmarket.”