Irish Champions Festival

Seven Days: Ireland's Perfect Pick-Me-Up

The Devil's Dyke stretches in pretty much a straight line for more than seven miles through parts of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. The best part, according to this scribbler anyway, is the section roughly a mile and half long which cleaves Newmarket's July Course from the Rowley Mile, with a break in the dyke allowing the two courses to join briefly just beyond the ten-furlong mark on the latter. A Dutch author, Iman Jacob Wilkens, once claimed that Cambridge's Gog Magog Hills was the true location of the City of Troy,...

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“For Reasons Outside Of Racing” – Amo Racing Sacks Stott As Retained Rider

Amo Racing's Kia Joorabchian has sacked Kevin Stott as the retained rider for the operation. Stott is understood to have been informed of the decision by text on Monday morning and it comes after the 29-year-old suffered defeat on Bucanero Fuerte and King Of Steel in Group 1 contests at the Irish Champions Festival.  Stott replaced Rossa Ryan in the role as Amo Racing's number one jockey earlier this year and partnered the breakthrough Group 1 winner for the team when landing the Phoenix S. at the Curragh last month. ...

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Lumiere Rock Lights Up The Curragh With Deserved Group 2 Success

It was always going to take something special to luminate the Curragh against the backdrop of that dark grey sky, but the Joseph O'Brien-trained Lumiere Rock (Ire) (Saxon Warrior {Jpn}) had just the answer in the G2 Moyglare-sponsored Blandford S. under a razor-sharp Dylan Browne McMonagle.  Lumiere Rock has danced every dance this season. Her big moment at the Irish Champions Festival was richly deserved but it was achieved in far more tenacious fashion than the three-length winning margin would suggest.  Having gone out on her sword behind the fantastically-talented...

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Australia's Adelaide River Takes The Kilternan

Making it another Irish Champions Day winner that was easy to find on paper, the third pattern-race winner for Aidan O'Brien and Ryan Moore came in the G3 Paddy Power S. registered as the Kilternan S. courtesy of Adelaide River (Ire) (Australia {GB}). Always comfortable in a clear lead, the 11-8 favourite by virtue of the class edge he held having been runner-up in the G1 Irish Derby and G1 Grand Prix de Paris turned the screw from the top of the straight and may have been idling late as...

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Siyouni's Tahiyra Too Good In The Matron

There were few surprise outcomes on Leopardstown's Irish Champions card on Saturday, merely simple rubber-stamping of the positions of the season's category leaders. Step forward The Aga Khan's G1 Irish 1000 Guineas and G1 Coronation S. heroine Tahiyra (Ire) (Siyouni {Fr}--Tarana {Ire}, by Cape Cross {Ire}) in the G1 Coolmore America "Justify" Matron S., which has a history of upsets but which this time kept to script. If Dermot Weld, who had earlier opted to withdraw Homeless Songs (Ire) (Frankel {GB}), had concerns about the winner's readiness beforehand one look...

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Frankel's Diego Velazquez Wins The Champions Juvenile

Aidan O'Brien had already won nine of the 16 renewals of Leopardstown's revamped G2 KPMG Champions Juvenile S. and delivered another on Saturday with a stable one-two in the bargain. This race is a "Win and You're In" for the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf in California. Despite the impressive attitude of Capulet (Justify) at the head of affairs, it was the 8-15 favourite Diego Velazquez (Ire) (Frankel {GB}--Sweepstake {Ire}, by Acclamation {GB}) who proved master of ceremonies as he took over a furlong from home en route to a...

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Kitty Rose First Black Type Winner For Invincible Army As Irish Champions Day Kicks Off

The Irish Champions Festival began with a renewal of Leopardstown's Listed Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle S. which may prove better than its status in time as two class acts dominated proceedings throughout. While Ballydoyle's 13-8 favourite Content (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) did her thing by going fast in front and keeping at it, Natalia Lupini's Kitty Rose (GB) (Invincible Army {Ire}--Varnish {GB}, by Choisir {Aus}) had too many guns from over a furlong out and stretched to an impressive 2 1/2-length success under Billy Lee. In doing so, the 3-1...

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Vespertilio Al Shira'aa's 'Best Chance' At Irish Champions Festival

Al Shira'aa's Kieran Lalor has nominated Vespertilio (Fr) (Night Of Thunder {Ire}) as the operation's best chance of a winner at the Irish Champions Festival where the rapidly-progressive filly lines out in Sunday's G1 Moyglare S. at the Curragh.  Vespertilio forms part of a three-pronged attack on Ireland's flagship Flat festival that features homebred Atlantic Coast (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) in Saturday's G2 KPMG Champions Juvenile S. at Leopardstown and Ocean Jewel (Ire) (Sioux Nation) in the Matron S. on the same card.  "We've six horses in training in Ireland and...

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Derby Rematch Set For Irish Champion

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...

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King Of Steel Heads 13 Still Standing For Irish Champion Stakes

King Of Steel (Wootton Bassett {GB}) heads the 13 still standing for Saturday's Royal Bahrain Irish Champion S. at Leopardstown on a weekend where the colt's owners Amo Racing could bid for a Group 1 double with Bucanero Fuerte (GB) (Wootton Bassett {GB}) on course for the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National S on Sunday.  Trained by Roger Varian, King Of Steel heads the betting for the Irish Champions Stakes, the showpiece event of the rebranded Irish Champions Festival, and connections of the colt are predicting a bold display.  "It's a...

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Eldar Eldarov Remains on Track for the Irish St Leger

Last season's Cazoo St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) will try and add the Irish equivalent during this year's Irish Champions Festival. "The target for him is to go to the Irish St Leger and that is very much still on the cards at the moment," said Chris Wall, racing manager for owners KHK Racing Ltd. "He's grand and it's all systems go for that." The 4-year-old was originally slated to contest the G3 St Leger trial earlier this month, however, was subsequently declared a non-runner after not...

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Stallion News: Kevin Blake And Jack Cantillon Buy Smart Sprinter Bouttemont

Kevin Blake and Jack Cantillon have secured French sprinter Bouttemont (Ire), who they are targeting at a rare Group 1 double in the Flying Five and Prix de l'Abbaye, before standing the highly-rated son of Acclamation (GB) in Ireland.  Bouttemont will see out his career with current trainer Yann Barberot and will race in the colours of Syndicates.Racing, the successful ownership group which is headed by Cantillon.  A number of packages that include racing and breeding rights are available in the Group 3 winner with Blake describing the opportunity to...

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