Star names stand their ground for Longines Irish Champions Weekend
September 8, 2015
Star Names Stand Their Ground For Longines Irish Champions Weekend
Gleneagles, Golden Horn, Free Eagle, The Grey Gatsby, Cirrus Des Aigles, Brown Panther, Forgotten Rules, Agent Murphy, Panama Hat, Legatissimo, Amazing Maria, Tanaza and Air Force Blue set to feature at Leopardstown and the Curragh
The big names have all stood their ground for the five Group 1 races and the supporting cards on Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh on Saturday and Sunday.
Dual 2,000 Guineas hero Gleneagles and the Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn feature among the nine horses remaining in the €1.1m QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday. They look set to be joined by last year’s winner The Grey Gatsby, Free Eagle, French star Cirrus Des Aigles and Highland Reel. There are three fillies still in the race, Legatissimo, Pleascach and Found, all Group 1 winners.
Sixteen horses have accepted for the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday, headed by last year’s winner Brown Panther. Agent Murphy, Forgotten Rules and Kingfisher have also stood their ground for the final Irish Classic of 2015.
The Ger Lyons-trained Ainippe has been supplemented for the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes for which a field of 10 remains in place. Legatissimo and Amazing Maria could yet be joined by Euro Charline and her trainer Marco Botti said, “The plan is to run the filly on Saturday and we have asked Frankie (Dettori) to ride her and assuming he is available that is the plan. She is in very good form and I am just hoping for good ground for her. It looks a very good race but we are looking forward to it.”
Fifteen remain in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, headed by the Dermot Weld-trained Tanaza and Michael O’Callaghan’s Now Or Never. Aidan O’Brien has left his options open with five in the race including Ballydoyle and How High The Moon.
A total of 14 remain in the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes with Air Force Blue, Buratino, Final Frontier and Herald The Dawn leading the way. Aidan O’Brien has seven left in the race and he can also choose from the likes of Air Vice Marshal and Johannes Vermeer.
Pat Keogh, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse, said, “After twelve months preparation, the waiting is nearly over. We are all set to stage one of the best day’s racing ever seen in Ireland. We would encourage people to come early on Saturday and become part of this historic occasion.”
Paul Hensey, General Manager of the Curragh Racecourse, said, “I’m delighted with the entries for all the Curragh races after final forfeit. In particular, the number of international horses that remain engaged is very pleasing. The entries for the three Group 1s at the Curragh are of the highest quality and the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five has attracted what is essentially a Group 1 field.”
For the duration of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, the event’s official betting partner Tote Ireland will be paying money-back if a win selection finishes second to any British-trained winner. This offer is open to on-course customers only and is to a maximum refund of €20.
Tote will also be running an ‘Instant Winner’ promotion which gives all customers a chance to win cash prizes or tickets to go racing with every bet placed. Winners will be selected at random and customers will be issued with a voucher to claim their prize.
Click here for audio clips from Dermot Weld, Jim Bolger, Michael O’Callaghan, Andy Oliver,
John Gosden, Pat Keogh and Paul Hensey, ahead of Longines Irish Champions Weekend
Longines Irish Champions Weekend TG4 Preview
TG4 will screen a 30-minute preview of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend tonight, 8th September at 8pm. The preview programme has been produced by Touchline Media, who have produced similar TG4 preview programmes on the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals for almost the past decade.
There will be a look ahead to a stellar renewal of the Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champions Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, 12th September and we will hear from the principal connections of Golden Horn, Gleneagles, Free Eagle, Pleascach and Cirrus Des Aigles.
The preview will also feature a visit by Dave Keena to the Co.Tyrone stables of Andy Oliver, whose Panama Hat is bidding to win the Group 1 Palmerstown House Irish St Leger, the feature race at the Curragh on Day 2 of the Longines Irish Champion Weekend. Panama Hat was second in the Group 3 1m5f American St Leger at Arlington last month.
There is also a visit to the stables of rising star Michael O’Callaghan who star 2-y-o filly, Now or Never, has a leading chance in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday week and the preview programme will run the rule over the leading contenders for what looks set to be a strong renewal of Leopardstown’s Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.
Denis Kirwan of Touchline Media presents the magazine style preview and Donn McClean and Pat Brennan from Tote Ireland will provide the analysis/betting view. The Longines Irish Champions Weekend preview programme has been produced in association with HRI and Tote Ireland.