A Japanese contender, the very best of the current Classic
generation and a host of top-class older horses have been entered for the Irish
Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions
Weekend on Saturday, September 11.
The five-year-old Mozu Bello, trained by Naoyuki Morita,
recently finished runner-up in the Grade 1 Osaka Hai at Hanshin and could
become the second horse trained in Japan to run in the Leopardstown highlight,
two years after Deirdre’s gallant fourth in the race.
The winners of this year’s Newmarket, French and Irish 2,000
Guineas head the home challenge. Jim Bolger has entered both Poetic Flare and
Mac Swiney, while St Mark’s Basilica features among an incredibly strong entry
from Aidan O'Brien.
O'Brien also has his Newmarket 1,000 Guineas winner Mother
Earth and his Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Empress Josephine and
narrow runner-up Joan Of Arc in the race. Ballydoyle’s leading Epsom Derby
hopes Bolshoi Ballet and High Definition are in the race as are the top Oaks
contenders Santa Barbara and Snowfall. A host of older superstars also feature
among O'Brien’s initial entry, namely Love, Japan, Armory, Broome and Mogul.
Helvic Dream became Noel Meade’s first Group 1 winner when
edging out Broome to win the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh last Sunday
and he’s among the 54 entries as are Dermot Weld’s star mares Tarnawa and
Search For A Song, with Lucky Vega and Alpine Star among a Jessica
A terrific British entry, numbering 15 horses, is headed by
the outstanding John and Thady Gosden-trained Palace Pier, currently the
world’s highest-rated racehorse. The father and son team have also entered the
well-travelled Mishriff and Lord North while Ed Dunlop’s Derby hope John
Leeper, William Haggas’ four-time Group 1 winner Addeybb and David Menuisier’s
dual Group 1 heroine Wonderful Tonight are also part of a formidable team from
across the Irish Sea.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Twilight Payment is among a
massive entry of 77 horses for the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at
the Curragh on Sunday, September 12.
Also included in the 14 entries made by his trainer Joseph
O'Brien are the ever-improving Baron Samedi, the stable’s new recruits Cormorant,
Mythical and Dawn Patrol, and Master Of Reality.
No trainer has a better record in the race than trainer
Dermot Weld and he has entered the Moyglare Stud Farm-owned Search For A Song,
winner of the race for the past two years, and Falcon Eight, the brilliant
recent winner of the Chester Cup.
There are 19 British-trained entries for the race, topped by
the 2019 Doncaster St Leger hero Logician, which is trained by John and Thady
Gosden, last year’s Comer Group International Irish St Leger runner-up Fujaira
Prince, Third Realm and Believe In Love, all trained by Roger Varian and the
exciting Subjectivist, one of four in the race for Mark Johnston.
Pyledriver, third in last season’s Doncaster St Leger has
been entered by William Muir and Chris Grassick, while the Ralph
Beckett-trained Albaflora, the William Haggas-trained Ilaraab, the Martyn
Meade-trained Lone Eagle and Alan King’s Trueshan are all certainly worthy of
their place in the final Classic of the season.
The first three horses home in the Comer Group International
50th Oleander-Rennen at Hoppegarten have also been entered. The Andreas
Suborics-trained Rip Van Lips won the Group 2 event earlier this month, beating
Roland Dzubasz’s Memphis and Brokeback Mountain which is trained in France by
Yann Barberot. A second French-trained entry is the André Fabre’s Tides Of War.
Raa Atoll, winner of the Hoppegarten race in 2019, is one of four entries for
sponsor Luke Comer.
Brian Kavanagh, CEO of Horse Racing
Ireland, said: “The racing calendar gives us all so much to look forward to
throughout the year and the upcoming renewal of Longines Irish Champions
Weekend is set to be very special. Both Leopardstown and the Curragh will play
host to the best of international racing in September and the initial entries
for the feature races show that the 2021 renewal will be well up to the
standard of previous years.”
CLICK HERE FOR THE INITIAL ENTRIES
FOR THE IRISH CHAMPION STAKES
CLICK HERE FOR THE INITIAL ENTRIES
FOR THE COMER GROUP INTERNATIONAL IRISH ST LEGER