Strong Entries for Supporting Races on Longines Irish Champions Weekend
August 3, 2017
The level of quality on Longines Irish Champions Weekend stretches beyond the five Group 1 races and the supporting cards at both Leopardstown on Saturday, September 9 and the Curragh on Sunday, September 10 are shaping up nicely.
Entries for the Group 2 Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown on the opening day are headed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Alice Springs, winner of the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes on the card last year. O’Brien has made a strong entry for the €200,000 event and could also be represented by Rain Goddess, runner-up to Enable in the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh last time out. The race has attracted 12 overseas entries including the David O’Meara-trained Custom Cut which was second to Awtaad in this race last year. Jean-Claude Rouget has made three entries and can choose between Qemah and Zelzal, both Group 1 winners, and the Group 2 winner Taareef.
The Group 3 KPMG Enterprise Stakes has attracted an initial entry of 35, including the first two horses home in this race 12 months ago, the Dermot Weld-trained Zhukova, a Grade 1 in America in May, and Aidan O’Brien’s US Army Ranger. Success Days gave Ken Condon his biggest success when winning the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes last Saturday and would be a notable runner for the Curragh trainer. The Jim Bolger-trained Moonlight Magic won the Group 3 ICON Meld Stakes at Leopardstown last month and is another significant entry as is the recent Newmarket Group 2 runner-up Frontiersman, trained by Charlie Appleby and one of four British entries.
Pat Keogh, Chief Executive of Leopardstown Racecourse, said: “Longines Irish Champions Weekend is a major international festival with top quality racing at its heart. Now in its fourth year, we have seen an increase in the quality each year and also more international participation. It is great to see such strong entries for the Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes and the KPMG Enterprise Stakes, two of the major races of Day 1 at Leopardstown.”
A strong renewal of the Group 2 Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes is on the cards at the Curragh on Sunday, September 10th and features an initial entry of 44 horses. Charlie Appleby has put his Group 1 winner Wuheida in the €200,000 race and she was running for the first time since her success in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly last October when just losing out to Aidan O’Brien’s Roly Poly in the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last month. John Gosden has entered both So Mi Dar and Shutter Speed which was a close fourth in the Group 1 Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly in June. Aidan O’Brien has entered last year’s Darley Irish Oaks winner Seventh Heaven which was the runaway winner of the Group 2 Dunaden Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket in early May and Shamreen, winner of the race last year, could again represent Dermot Weld who has also entered Zhukova. Group 1 winners Rhododendron and Intricately also feature among the entries as does the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (French 1,000 Guineas) runner-up Sea Of Grace.
Derek McGrath, Chief Executive of the Curragh Racecourse, said: “The inclusion of the Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes as an important part of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend schedule, and the generous sponsorship support of Moyglare Stud has ensured that the race continues to go from strength to strength as a target for some of the top fillies and mares in Europe. The support of trainers and owners for all races over Longines Irish Champions Weekend has been hugely positive this year as it is through their commitment that the event continues to significantly gain in stature and profile.”
Link to entries Leopardstown 9th September HERE
Link to entries The Curragh 10th September HERE