Big guns to roar at Longines Irish Champions Weekend
There are four Group 1 races at the Curragh on Sunday and the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend is highlighted by the Comer Group International Irish St Leger for which there are 22 horses remaining. Leading the way is Dermot Weld’s Search For A Song, bidding for her third successive win in the race with opposition set to include Johnny Murtagh’s Ebor winner Sonnyboyliston. A strong team from the Joseph O'Brien stable is comprised of Twilight Payment, Master Of Reality and Baron Samedi while Aidan O'Brien has five possibles, including 2020 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Santiago and Sir Lucan. Aircraft Carrier and Seattle Creek are set to represent the sponsor, Luke Comer.
From France and Germany, Yann Barberot’s Brokeback Mountain and the Andreas Suborics-trained Rip Van Lips, winner of the Group 2 Comer Group International 50th Oleander-Rennen at Hoppegarten in May, could yet take their chance along with the remaining British challenger, David O’Meara’s Eagles By Day.
Sixteen horses remain in the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, headed by last year’s winner of the race, the Kevin Ryan-trained Glass Slippers and Tim Easterby’s Winter Power, successful in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at York. Archie Watson’s Dragon Symbol is another leading contender standing his ground along with top home contenders Mooneista, Gustavus Weston and Measure Of Magic, trained by Jack Davison, Joe Murphy and Johnny Murtagh respectively.
The first of the weekend’s Group 1 races for two-year-olds is the Moyglare Stud Stakes and topping the 14 remaining entries are Ger Lyons’s supplementary entry Cairde Go Deo and the Dermot Weld-trained Homeless Songs which is bidding to give the sponsors their first win in the race.
Unbeaten colts Point Lonsdale, trained by Aidan O'Brien, and the Charlie Appleby-trained Native Trail lead the way in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes for which ten horses stand their ground. Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes winner Ebro River is there for Hugo Palmer while Michael Bell’s Great Max could be another raider from across the Irish Sea.
Evan Arkwright, Chief Executive (interim) of the Curragh Racecourse, said: “The entries on Sunday certainly confirms the champion status of the day with high quality runners from start to finish on a superb programme which features four Group 1 races. I would like to acknowledge the fantastic support of owners, trainers and of course our very loyal sponsors. We are really looking forward to welcoming racegoers back to the Curragh for one of the major highlights in the international calendar.”