Entries strong for Champions Weekend
On the back of a strong initial entry, British trainers have added to their challenge for Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh next month at the second entry stage, which closed this afternoon.
The impressive Royal Ascot winner Time Test is one of two British-trained runners added to the €1.1 million Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 12th, for which there are now 26 entries.
Roger Charlton’s three-year-old is the winner of three of his five starts to date and he was successful in the Group 3 Tercentenary Stakes last time. Also entered is Olly Stevens’ year older Lightning Spear who was the winner of his first four starts and was runner-up to Arod in the Group 2 Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot. They join an exciting initial entry which was headed by the Epsom Derby hero Golden Horn, Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Jack Hobbs, dual Guineas winner Gleneagles, French globe-trotter Cirrus Des Aigles, Australia’s Criterion and Dermot Weld’s star Free Eagle.
The €300,000 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes boasts eight Group 1 winners among an entry of 30 which is headed by Legatissimo, successful in the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood last week. Sunday’s Prix Rothschild winner Amazing Maria, trained by David O’Meara, and Sir Michael Stoute’s Integral also stand their ground in the one mile event.
The €350,000 Group 1 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday, September 13th saw Brown Panther, Forgotten Rules, Kingfisher and Snow Sky among the initial entries and the race has been boosted by the addition of four British-trained horses headed by John Gosden’s Romsdal, who was last season’s Doncaster St Leger runner-up and recently ran third to Postponed in the Group 1 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Clever Cookie, trained Peter Niven, was fifth in that race and he too has been entered as has Amanda Perrett’s three-time winner Astronereus and Future Empire, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor.
The much-improved Panama Hat, trained by Andy Oliver, is a strong addition to the home challenge. Mark Johnston’s Buratino joins an impressive entry for the €300,000 Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and entered along with the Group 2 Coventry Stakes winner is his stable companion Sixth Sense who was winning for the second time when successful in the Listed Titanic Belfast Winkfield Stakes at Ascot recently.
Aidan O’Brien has added his promising Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes winner Painted Cliffs and another big second entry is the Jim Bolger-trained Sanus Per Aquam. There are three extra British-trained horses in the €300,000 Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Mark Johnston’s Fireglow was the winner of the Listed Irish Champions Weekend EBF Stallions Star Stakes at Sandown and she has been entered along with Brian Meehan’s Haydock winner Blue Bayou and La Rioja who was successful for trainer Henry Candy in the Denford Stud And Longines Irish Champions Weekend EBF Maiden Fillies´ Stakes at Newbury.
This trio joins the likes of Dermot Weld’s Group 3 Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes winner Tanaza and Richard Hannon’s Royal Ascot winner Illuminate.
Pat Keogh, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse, said, “This has been a very good year for racing with so many great horses around. We are delighted with the entries for our two feature races, the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes, which feature all the top horses. These look like being two classic renewals on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.”
Paul Hensey, General Manager of the Curragh Racecourse, said, “We were delighted with the first entries for the three Group 1 races at the Curragh and the additional entries today further enhance the quality of the fields for all three races on the Sunday. The calibre of the entries received reflects the growing international prestige of Longines Irish Champions Weekend
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