The main supporting races for the six Group 1 events on Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 10 and at the Curragh on Sunday, September 11 have attracted strong entries.
The first of the Group 2 races on the opening afternoon at Leopardstown is the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes, a ‘Win and You’re In’ race for the Breeders’ Cup, which could see the Donnacha O'Brien-trained Proud And Regal put his unbeaten record on the line. Success in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown last month saw him make it two wins from as many starts and it’s the trainer’s father Aidan and brother Joseph that might well provide the stiffest opposition to the hat-trick seeker.
Aidan O'Brien can count course and distance winner Tower Of London, Denmark, Hans Andersen, Auguste Rodin and Aesop's Fables among his entry of 21 horses while Joseph O'Brien’s squad of 12 includes Leopardstown winners Caroline Street and Montesilvano. More recent winners Gan Teorainn and Serious Challenge feature on Jim Bolger’s team of five while last year’s winning trainer Ger Lyons has his Curragh scorer and Tyros Stakes runner-up Hellsing in the race.
The Jessica Harrington-trained Real Appeal might well bid for a second successive win in Leopardstown’s Group 2 Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile. He’s among an entry of 33 horses that includes Jean-Claude Rouget’s recent Chantilly Group 3 winner Wally and the Charlie Hills-trained Dark Shift, successful in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot in June.
Juddmonte Irish Oaks runner-up Toy, Breeders’ Cup winner Order Of Australia and Leopardstown Derby Trial Stakes winner Stone Age are among eight horses from the Aidan O'Brien stable in the race. Ger Lyons has six to choose from including his dual Leopardstown scorer Dr Zempf and Hollywoodbets Gladness Stakes winner Markaz Paname while Paddy Twomey has three possible runners, last year’s narrow Coolmore America ´Justify´ Matron Stakes runner-up Pearls Galore and two horses that were winners when last seen late last season, Limiti Di Greccio and Just Beautiful which could have her first start in the colours of Moyglare Stud Farm.
The Group 2 Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, September 11 is the main supporting act to four Group 1 races on the day and its entry of 46 horses is topped by last year’s heroine, the Paddy Twomey-trained La Petite Coco.
She made a winning start to this season’s campaign in the Group 1 Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes over this course and distance in June and is one of five entries from the Twomey yard, with Rosscarbery, a winner at Leopardstown since her disqualification in the Pretty Polly Stakes, among them.
My Astra, runner-up in the Pretty Polly Stakes, and Mellow Yellow have been entered by William Haggas with the Carina Fey-trained Abhayaa, unbeaten in three starts, and the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained three-time winner Sippinsoda entered from France.
Another Group 1 winner in the early field is the Joseph O'Brien-trained Above The Curve while a more recent winner is the Jessica Harrington-trained Trevaunance, successful in the Group 3 Prix de Pysche at Deauville on Tuesday.
Seamus Hand, Managing Partner at KPMG, said: “We are proud to continue our 10-year sponsorship of the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown as part of this year’s Longines Irish Champions Weekend. Every year, this event showcases some of the best horses, the best jockeys and the best trainers in the world, making it one of the most exciting meetings on the international racing calendar. A massive thank you to Leopardstown Racecourse for our partnership and wishing them continued success.”
Evan Arkwright, Racing and Sponsorship Manager at the Curragh, commented: “We are delighted to see such high-quality entries for the Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes including Trevaunance which won a Group race at Deauville earlier this week, while it is very positive to see two French-trained contenders among the 46 entries. The race has an impressive roll of honour with some of the best race mares in Europe among the previous winners including Tarnawa in 2019, while La Petite Coco, last year’s winner, subsequently won the Group 1 Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes on her most recent start.”
Click here for the entries for Leopardstown on Saturday, September 10
Click here for the entries for the Curragh on Sunday, September 11