Derby Rematch Set For Irish Champion

Auguste Rodine & King Of Steel | Marc Cranham/Racing Post/HRI


The much-anticipated third encounter between Auguste Rodin (Ire) (Deep Impact {Jpn}) and King Of Steel (Wootton Bassett {GB}) will take place in Saturday's G1 Royal Bahrain Irish Champion S. at Leopardstown, as the Derby one-two featured among the nine heavyweights on Thursday. Ryan Moore is on Auguste Rodin in the 10-furlong feature of the Irish Champions Festival, with the Ballydoyle first string looking to bounce back from a below-par showing in Ascot's King George in which Amo Racing's King Of Steel was third. Auguste Rodin is in two, next door to last year's runner-up Onesto (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) in three and trainer Fabrice Chappet is hoping the lightly-raced 4-year-old can go one better.

“He had a little issue in the spring, but the best races for him are coming up now anyway. He is a very versatile horse, he is a group one winner going 2400 metres and ran a very good race in this last year going 2000 metres and also ran a good race down in trip in the Jacques le Marois,” he said of his charge, who will once again contest the Breeders' Cup qualifier. “He definitely has more speed than a mile-and-a-half horse and he can probably do anything from a mile to middle distances–he showed a good bit of speed last time.” Owen Burrows has declared Shadwell's G2 York S. winner Alflaila (GB) (Dark Angel {Ire}), Nashwa (GB) (Frankel {GB}) represents the Gosdens, and last year's winner Luxembourg (Ire) (Camelot {GB}) is part of a three-pronged challenge from Aidan O'Brien.

In the G1 Coolmore America “Justify” Matron S., The Aga Khan's G1 Irish 1000 Guineas and G1 Coronation S. heroine Tahiyra (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}) is the star turn of the 13 fillies and mares engaged alongside the fellow Dermot Weld-trained Homeless Songs (Ire) (Frankel {GB}) who has been winless since taking last year's Irish 1000. At Haydock, Saturday's G1 Betfair Sprint Cup has attracted the maximum field of 17 with the G1 Commonwealth Cup and G1 July Cup hero Shaquille (GB) (Charm Spirit {Ire}) the one to beat. Ralph Beckett has opted to run Marc Chan's G1 Cheveley Park S. winner Lezoo (GB) (Zoustar {Aus}) instead of Kinross (GB) (Kingman {GB}) and she will be partnered for the first time by Rossa Ryan who makes way for James Doyle on Shaquille.

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