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Star filly Alpha Centauri heads Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes entries
Trained by Jessica Harrington for the Niarchos Family, Alpha Centauri added to
her Tattersalls Irish 1,000 win at the Curragh with a stunning success in the
Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot where she set a new course record for
the round mile. Hydrangea, the winner of last year’s Coolmore Fastnet Rock
Matron Stakes, is one of 13 entries for champion trainer Aidan O'Brien who has
also put Magic Wand, winner of the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot,
and his Group 1 Lockinge Stakes winner Rhododendron in the €350,000 event that
was ranked as the world’s best fillies and mares’ race in 2017.
There are 15 British-trained entries and the raiding party is headed by another
Royal Ascot winner, Aljazzi for trainer Marco Botti. Tribute Act, trained by
James Fanshawe, chased her home in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes and is
also in the early line-up. Veracious was third to Alpha Centauri two weeks ago
and has been given an entry by Sir Michael Stoute. Urban Fox defeated Epsom
Oaks winner Forever Together to win the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes
at the Curragh on Sunday and she has been entered by trainer William
Jean-Claude Rouget has already tasted Longines Irish Champions Weekend success
with Almanzor in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes two years ago and he has
entered Mission Impassable which recorded her biggest success in the Group 2
Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly early last month.
Pat Keogh, Chief Executive of Leopardstown Racecourse, said: “The Coolmore
Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes has consistently produced one of the best races of
the year. Last year it was the highest rated fillies and mares’ race in the
world. Going on the entries, we are in for something very special again this
year. The quality of racing on Longines Irish Champions Weekend is getting
better and better each year. We can't wait for September.”
The Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes is being run as a Group 1 for the first
time this year and is one of four Group 1 races on the second day of Longines
Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh on Sunday, September 16.
Heading the entries is the Charlie Appleby-trained Blue Point which ran the
race of his life to capture the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at this year’s
Royal Ascot. Six of the first eight horses home in that race are entered for
the Curragh including runner-up Battaash, trained by Charlie Hills. Michael
Dods’ Royal Ascot third Mabs Cross is also engaged as is the fourth-placed and
French-trained Finsbury Square.
Aidan O’Brien won the race last season with Caravaggio and his entry numbers 11
horses, headed by Sioux Nation. Son Of Rest was third for Fozzy Stack last year
and is entered once again.
Aidan O’Brien has dominated the Goffs Vincent O’Brien Stakes in recent years
and the champion trainer is chasing a 12th success in the Group 1 event. His
dual winner Sergei Prokofiev finished well to take third place in the Coventry
Stakes at Royal Ascot and features among a Ballydoyle entry of 30 which also
boasts the un-raced Blenheim Palace, a full-brother to Churchill and Clemmie.
Van Beethoven won the Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes with Mick Channon’s
previously unbeaten Certain Lad in third place at the Curragh on Saturday and
both are also entered for the race.
Jim Bolger denied O’Brien four straight wins in the race when he won with
Verbal Dexterity last year and among his nine entries are the impressive
Leopardstown maiden winner Bold Approach and Copia Verborum which made a
winning start over seven furlongs at the Curragh last month. Masaff was another
winner at the first time of asking and is one of nine entries for Dermot Weld,
a five-time winner of the race.
Chief among the British-trained entries are Coventry Stakes runner-up
Advertise, trained by Martyn Meade. Quorto made a winning debut at Newmarket
for Charlie Appleby a little over a week ago.
Mark Johnston’s Main Edition took the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot and heads
the overseas challenge for the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes for which 81 horses
have been entered. She is unbeaten in three starts and is one of 12 British-trained
entries. So Perfect beat Patrick Prendergast’s Skitter Scatter and Joseph
O'Brien’s Cava to win the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh on
Sunday and features among a strong-looking entry for Aidan O'Brien.
Derek McGrath, Chief Executive of the Curragh Racecourse, said: “Longines Irish
Champions Weekend is now established as a major target for the best horses in
Europe and our entries certainly reflects this, in particular it is exciting to
see that the upgrading of the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five to a Group 1 contest
for the first time has ensured that we have attracted some of the leading
sprinters in the world.”
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