Strong entries for Longines Irish Champions Weekend Group 1 races
Entries for the four remaining Group 1 races on Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown and the Curragh on the second weekend of September have been released this afternoon.
Hot on the heels of bumper entries for the Irish Champion Stakes and the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, the initial line-ups for the Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes, the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes are from the very top drawer.
Two recent Aidan O'Brien-trained Classic winners lead the way in the Group 1 Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 11. Snowfall, the runaway winner of the Cazoo Oaks at Epsom and her stable companion Joan Of Arc, successful in the Prix de Diane Longines at Chantilly, are among a Ballydoyle entry of eight that also includes Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Empress Josephine.
The Joseph O'Brien-trained Thundering Nights beat his father’s Santa Barbara to land the Group 1 Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday and both could renew rivalry at Leopardstown as could the Andrew Balding-trained Alcohol Free, Richard Hannon’s Snow Lantern and Aidan O'Brien’s Mother Earth, the first three fillies home in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Johnny Murtagh has entered last year’s winner Champers Elysees and the ever-improving Create Belief while Jessica Harrington’s Alpine Star, the Joseph O'Brien-trained Pretty Gorgeous and the Pascal Bary-trained Tahlie are other notable entries.
Wesley Ward has entered his Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Golden Pal for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday, September 12 and the race could also feature another winner from that same meeting, Glass Slippers which landed the Turf Sprint at Keeneland in November for trainer Kevin Ryan. She got the better of Keep Busy to win this race last year and John Quinn’s charge is also entered once again.
A strong overseas entry is boosted by the presence of the mighty Battaash and the Robert Cowell-trained Arecibo which finished just ahead of Charlie Hills’ star when runner-up in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Dragon Symbol, first past the post in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot has been entered by Archie Watson while the Wokingham Stakes winner Rohaan, trained by David Evans, and the Clive Cox-trained Supremacy would be other leading players.
Successful in the race with Sole Power in 2015, trainer Edward Lynam has entered last Saturday’s Curragh winner Romantic Proposal while Logo Hunter, another recent Listed race winner and the winner of four of his last six starts, could yet take his chance for trainer Michael Browne.
The Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes and the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes are two of the richest races in Ireland for two-year-olds. Royal Ascot winners, the Andrew Balding-trained Berkshire Shadow and Aidan O'Brien’s Port Lonsdale top the entries for the National Stakes. O'Brien typically boasts a strong hand with course winner Glounthaune also on his early team. The Fozzy Stack-trained GAIN Marble Hill winner Castle Star, the Mark Johnston-trained Austrian Theory, Charlie Appleby’s Native Trail and the Joseph O'Brien-trained Leopardstown maiden winner Maritime Wings also catch the eye.
Irish trainers have won the Moyglare Stud Stakes in each of the last six years and Joseph O'Brien’s Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes winner Velocidad looks to head the entry for the latest renewal. Ger Lyons’ Juncture was thoroughly impressive when making a winning start at Leopardstown as was the Fozzy Stack-trained Hermana Estrella which beat subsequent Royal Ascot winner Quick Suzy to land the Group 3 Coolmore Stud EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes on her debut at Naas in May. The Naas maiden winner Tenebrism, trained by Aidan O'Brien, is another worthy of her place in the early entry while the Andrew Balding-trained Albany Stakes winner Sandrine and the dual winner Wild Beauty, another trained by Charlie Appleby, are among the leading British entries.
Regarding the Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes, Tim Husbands, Leopardstown CEO, commented; “It’s great to see the continued depth of quality of interest in this very prestigious of races, rightly generating a lot of UK interest, together with a French raider from Pascal Bary’s yard. No doubt they will present a significant challenge to the Irish string of stables, who have themselves put forward some high performing horses, so it should prove a very exciting race.”
Evan Arkwright, Racing and Sponsorship Manager of The Curragh Racecourse, said: “We are delighted to see such quality amongst the entries with these three Group 1 races at The Curragh featuring some of the very best horses and the winners of many great races in Ireland, the UK, France and America. This will ensure we continue to attract a significant global audience and further enhance Longines Irish Champions Weekend as the pinnacle of the Irish Flat racing season.”
Click here for the entries for the Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes
Click here for the entries for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes