Star filly Alpha Centauri heads Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes entries

Group 1 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes attracts top European sprinters

Monday, July 02, 2018

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 Haggas. 

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.”





Group 1 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes attracts top European sprinters 

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