Eight runners eye up Champions Stakes
A total of eight runners will go to post for the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, the highlight on day one of the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend. Australia is obviously the stand out name on the card as he attempts to follow up his convincing Juddmonte International success.
Australia will lead a strong team from the Ballydoyle stable throughout the weekend and is currently as short as 2/7 to record yet another Group 1 victory. Amongst his rivals is fellow O’Brien inmate Kingfisher, who has swerved a tilt at the English St Leger in favour of taking on his stable mate yet again having chased him home in the Irish Derby and the Juddmonte International.
French Derby winner The Grey Gatsby is the main market rival (if you could call it that) to the double Derby winner and will be looking to reverse the form of the Juddmonte, where he just failed by 2 lengths. Dermot Weld’s Alkasser has been supplemented for the race and could be used as a possible pacemaker for Eclipse winner Mukhadram.
Last year’s runner-up Al Kazeem will make his return to Group 1 company for the first time since returning from a failed stint at stud, with last year’s Irish Derby winner Trading Leather completing the small field who will battle it out for a share of the €1 million on offer for one of the World’s highest rated races.
By Kevin Walsh / Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
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