More Matron magic ahead
The Matron Stakes has thrown up some fantastic battles in the past and this year’s Group 1 contest, which takes place on September 13th, should be no different, with 38 fillies and mares from around the continent still holding entries. Last year’s renewal threw up a surprise with 25/1 shot La Collina giving her jockey Chris Hayes the first Group 1 victory of his career.
British raiders have a magnificent recent record in the one mile contest, winning six of the last ten renewals and they hold a strong team again this year, with last season’s champion three-year-old filly Sky Lantern one of the stand out names for Richard Hannon. The striking grey has not been in the best of form this season but one British raider that will arrive in great form is Sir Michael Stoute’s Integral, this season’s Falmouth winner who will be looking to give her trainer a second win in the race after Echelon in 2007.
Coronation Stakes winner Rizeena could also make the trip over the Irish Sea in a bid to record her third Group 1 success, as could the likes of Charlie Hills’ Kiyoshi and John Gosden’s progressive Belle D’or. Also among the entries are the French trained pair of Kenhope and Thawaany. The former, a Listed winner in Germany last time, will be looking to rack up a hat trick, whilst the latter went very close in the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest last time in Deauville.
Aidan O’Brien and Dermot Weld are responsible for the majority of the home contingent. O’Brien has six to choose from including impressive Yorkshire Oaks winner Tapestry, Listed winner Palace, Group 3 winner Bye Bye Birdie and the once raced Adeste Fidelis. Weld on the other hand could call on Guineas Trial winner and Meld Stakes runner-up Afternoon Sunlight, the talented Big Break and the smart looking Balansiya.
John Oxx has My Titania and Stars So Bright, both daughters of Sea The Stars, whilst Jim Bolger, a three time winner of the race, will rely on sole entrant Tobann.
The increased prize fund of €300,000 has attracted a quality field and once again it promises to be a stand out contest on day 1 of the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend.
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Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images
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