The Irish Champion Stakes (Saturday 9 Sept, 6.45) is usually one of the most fiercely competitive Group 1 Races of the entire year, and it is run over 10-Furlongs at Leopardstown.
It is a continuation of the battle between the Classic Generation and the older horses, though the Classic Generation have won the last 3 renewals.
Irish Champion Stakes Trends
3-year-olds have won 6 of the last 10 renewals, 4-year-olds two, and 5-year-olds two
8 of the last 10 winners were drawn 5 or lower
Only 4 of the last 10 winners had won last time out
Aidan O’Brien has trained 3 of the last 10 winners, and a record 7 in all
English Trainers have trained 4 of the last 5 winners
Frankie Dettori has ridden 2 of the last 5 winners, and 6 in all
SPs of the last 10 winners have ranged from 1/4 to 7/1
Irish Champion Stakes Runner-By-Runner Guide
Already a Group 1 winner over a similar trip in Ireland this season and, though that race was at the Curragh, he’s won his only start at Leopardstown. Balance of form leaves him something to find with Churchill though on their running in the Juddmonte International at York.
Three-time course winner who got off the mark for the season in a Group 3 last time. However, only sixth last year, and needs to find a few pounds of improvement if principals on song.
Didn’t have to improve to win an average Group 3 last time, and his proximity to Deauville the time before makes him roughly the equal of Moonlight Magic. Another who needs to improve a few pounds.
2 from 3 over course and distance, but would only come into the reckoning if the ground rides genuinely soft. Finished behind Decorated Knight earlier in the season.
The Grey Gatsby
The 2014 winner is nowhere near as good a horse nowadays, and preferred faster ground even at his best.
Won 7 of her 11 races, including her one start over course and distance, and happy on ground ranging from good to soft. Beaten in a Group 1 for Fillies when last seen though, and that suggests she needs to find more to trouble the 3-year-old colts.
This season’s dual 2,000 Guineas winner is officially rated 5lb higher than his nearest rival, and dispelled the notion that he didn’t stay 10-furlongs when second in the Juddmonte International. Obvious chance, even if he’s had quite a hard season.
Cliffs Of Moher
Looked like he could be top-notch at 10-Furlongs when second in the Epson Derby but, whilst he had excuses in the Eclipse, he seemed beaten fair and square when only fourth in the Juddmonte International.
Fourth in the Epsom Derby before only fifth in the Eclipse, and chance seems to hinge on the change to front-running tactics proving a winning move in France last time. That merits of that French form are debatable, but his draw in stall-1 should allow him to adopt a prominent position again under new pilot Frankie Dettori.
Been used as a pacemaker by Aidan O’Brien in several big races this year, and he could easily bustle up Eminent from stall-4.
3-year-olds have the best record in the race, and Churchill, Eminent and Cliffs Of Moher also look to have the best form. Eminent look sure to try and make all but, with the possibility of Taj Mahal making it difficult for him, Churchill looks ideally drawn in stall-2 to track them both and pounce late.