With no UK racing taking place today, we head to Leopardstown for Irish Champions Weekend. Race Sharp will also have a number of French Racing Tips posted by mid-morning.
1.30pm – Ingabelle Stakes (Listed Race)
Heading the market is Paddy Twomey’s well-bred filly Easy. By Kodiac out of a 7f winning Pivotal mare, the filly has won her only race to date, beating a number of rivals who have since won. Dermot Weld’s Kayhana, another who is one from one, is by Epsom Derby-winner Harzand, and may be suited to further in time but does have speed on her dam’s side. She won her maiden at Limerick, beating All Things Nice who has won two races since. The yard have been performing at a 38% strike rate in the past two weeks, returning to winning ways, and this filly is certainly one for the shortlist.
Aidan O’Brien saddles Galileo filly Library, out of a Group Three winning mare over a mile-and-a-half, Words. She is perhaps more exposed than a number of her rivals and has already been beaten twice, but won her maiden on her third start at Tipperary last month over an extended 7f. It’s hard to predict how good that form will turn out to be, but she was impressive in victory and is improving with experience.
Zarinsk is another who is exposed, but she has performed respectably in two Group races following her maiden win. She finished half-a-length behind Lowther Stakes third Matilda Picotte at the Curragh in June and was fourth in a Group Three last time out having stumbled at the start.
Course and distance winner Ma Belle Artiste was beaten by colt Greenland in her last outing and will need to show improvement, whilst outsider Evening’s Empire is proven on soft ground but was last of eight in a Group Three recently and will need to settle better.
Clever And Cool won on soft to heavy ground on debut at Cork on Wednesday, over a 5f trip. She saw out the race well suggesting the step up in trip will suit. By Vocalised, a dual Group Three-winner on softer ground, her dam was a winner at this track for the same connections and her sire’s most successful progeny have handled softer conditions well. This filly could be slightly overlooked in the market and may represent some each-way value.
Johnny Murtagh’s Sheyya won her maiden here over the trip on her only start to date, with the runner-up winning since and holding an entry in the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket next month. Her pedigree suggests the trip will suit and the yard has recorded a 33% win rate in recent weeks. She may be another to keep an eye on.
1.30pm Leopardstown – Clever Cool 0.5pt E/W @ 14-1 (all firms, Coral, William Hill and Sky Bet are 4 places)
2.05pm – Premier Handicap
Markaz Paname is bidding for a hat-trick of wins in the hands of champion jockey Colin Keane. He runs off a mark of 105 and is potentially well handicapped following a Group Three success at the Curragh last time out. The lightly-raced three-year-old’s last two wins have come on yielding ground and he’ll likely be competitive in this contest.
Course and distance winner Current Option has 5lbs claimer Cian MacRedmond onboard, fresh following a handicap victory on soft ground at Galway in July. Stablemate Sirjack Thomas is 3lbs lower for his three-length defeat to Mister Wilson when last seen and is a capable performer on his day. He handles soft ground but can be inconsistent and sports first-time cheekpieces here.
Emporio won his maiden on good to firm ground last season and also won on reappearance at Tipperary. He runs off a mark of 98 but others could be better handicapped.
Nine-year-old mare Surrounding won a Listed race for fillies and mares last time out over this trip and handles soft ground. She is another who has won over course and distance and has plenty of experience.
British-raider I’m A Gambler must be respected on handicap form this term but is 21lbs higher than when first appearing this season and faces a tough task off his current mark. He’s in good form but may prefer a sounder surface. Another contender travelling over from England is David O’Meara’s Rhoscolyn who is prominent towards the head of the market. He finished third when last seen, a short distance behind winner I’m A Gambler at Goodwood. He is 1lbs higher rated making his debut on Irish soil and wears a tongue strap.
That’s Just Dandy may enjoy the ease in the ground and carries a low weight but is 7lbs higher for his recent win at Windsor. Final Voyage has fair form from Cork in April when fifth of seventeen, two-lengths behind winner Punk Poet. He is 3lbs lower here and could be well-handicapped for an in-form trainer. Stablemate Lustown Baba finished third in a Group Three for fillies and mares at the Curragh in May but will need to improve on her handicap run last time out, only 1lbs lower here.
John Quinn’s nine-year-old Safe Voyage has previously placed in a Group One on heavy ground and has won a Group Two at the track. He hasn’t been in the same form of late but his sixth behind I’m A Gambler at Goodwood was a promising run and he’s 1lbs lower this time out.
Lightly-raced Pearl D’Or wears a first-time tongue strap for the in-form Dermot Weld yard and he could improve on his recent handicap debut. He’ll need to reverse form with a number of his rivals but is a largely unexposed three-year-old capable of showing plenty of progression.
Joseph O’Brien saddles two geldings in the form of Andrea Vesalius and outsider San Andreas. The former has 5lbs claimer Jake Coen onboard and performed respectably in handicaps this season. He also has form on soft ground and may be there or thereabouts at the finish.
2.40pm – Champions Juvenile Stakes (Group 2)
Five head to post in this Group Two contest for two-year-olds run over a mile. Stablemates Auguste Rodin and Tower Of London are both prominent at the head of the market for trainer Aidan O’Brien. The former, by Deep Impact, is Group One-winning mare Rhododendron’s first foal, and won his maiden comfortably at Naas in July. Course and distance winner Tower Of London has won his only start to date and will likely be competitive but hung right on debut and may possibly need to show improvement.
Alder finished fourth on debut, staying on well from the rear of the field, before winning his maiden at Killarney, narrowly beating Hiawatha.
Jim Bolger’s Serious Challenge has run twice on soft ground at Galway, finishing third on debut before winning his maiden, also beating the aforementioned Hiawatha, but was then declared a non-runner at Tipperary last month due to a blood disorder.
Exposed No Nay Never filly Caroline Street is the outsider of the field as she could only manage sixth in a recent Group Three appearance at the Curragh. She did win well on debut however, beating a field that included Library, and perhaps shouldn’t be written off.
3.10pm – Kilternan Stakes (Paddy Power Stakes) (Group 3)
Joseph O’Brien’s three-year-old Point King completed a hat-trick of wins with success at the track last month. He won his maiden over 1m4f before stepping up in trip, proving he has both speed over the middle distances as well as the stamina required to be victorious over 1m6f. The highly progressive Zoffany colt is out of a Galileo mare and is certainly capable of being competitive in Group company. He receives the weight for age allowance here and also holds an entry in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington, to be run in November.
Thunder Kiss won a Listed contest when seen for the first time this season but has struggled to feature in three Group races since. A return over a mile-and-a-half on soft ground should allow the mare to rediscover some form however, as she has previously run well on a softer surface and the trip appears to be her optimum.
The talented Layfayette has appeared to excel over the shorter mile-and-a-quarter this season, failing to stay on strongly enough in his last two appearances over the extra two furlongs. He has previously won a Listed race over this trip on good ground, but may find it tough in these conditions carrying top weight.
Earl Of Tyrone was last seen finishing third in the Ebor Handicap at York, following three successive wins in Ireland. He finished third in a competitive handicap at Leopardstown in his opening run of the season, on debut for Paddy Twomey, and has been progressing well since, earning himself a career-high rating of 106. His previous two runs on softer ground have both ended in defeat but other excuses could be made and he may be worth considering.
Twomey also saddles the lightly-raced colt Beamish, who is three from four in his career. Two of his wins have come on softer ground with heavy in the ground description of his Listed win at Roscommon over 1m4f. He is 1lbs higher rated than his stablemate, but has 5lbs to find with mare Thunder Kiss and, along with a number of his rivals, he must give weight away to the younger Point King.
Aidan O’Brien saddles three runners, the shortest-priced being Galileo colt Bluegrass. He appears to have plenty to do to reverse form with Point King but may find this shorter trip more suited. Three-year-old filly Perotan is a Listed-winner over a 1m6f, but failed to fire in a recent Group Three outing and was beaten half-a-length by stablemate Kiss You Later who also lines up here. The latter is the rank outsider of the field but did beat Thunder Kiss earlier this season and could outrun her odds if able to handle the soft conditions expected at the track.
Completing the line-up is Lope De Vega colt Duke De Sessa stepping up in trip with stamina to prove. He won his maiden on soft ground and the yard is in-form but others are preferred.
3.10pm Leopardstown – Kiss You Later 0.5pt E/W @ 40-1 (generally available, 50-1 with bet365)
3.45pm – Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1)
A highly anticipated Group One is on the card at 3:45pm, with a select field of seven lining up for the Irish Champion Stakes.
Heading the market as a warm favourite is Prix du Jockey Club and Eclipse-winner Vadeni, a French-raider for Jean-Claude Rouget. The Churchill colt is bidding for a hat-trick of wins in high-class races and receives weight from elder rivals Mishriff, Alenquer and Broome. There is plenty to like about the exuberant three-year-old who has raced with such style and class this season. He is ground versatile with winning form on soft, making him difficult to oppose in this contest.
The promising Luxembourg could be his biggest danger. Once favourite for the Epsom Derby, the colt suffered an injury keeping him out of the Classic and absent during much of the summer. He returned with a win in a Group Three at the Curragh last month, doing just enough to prevail in the Royal Whip Stakes over 1m2f, but will likely be sharper this time out. Only two horses have beaten him in his career to date, with his only loss coming in the 2000 Guineas. The first two home in that Classic, Native Trail and the winner, the late, great Coroebus, were both suited to the mile trip at Newmarket, with Luxembourg always appearing to be suited to further. He is by the excellent Camelot, who has already sired many high-class horses, and also won on soft ground. An impressive-looking colt, he is certainly capable of posing a threat to the favourite if able to return to his best following his injury.
His stablemate Broome appears suited over further, and may struggle to be competitive over this trip at this stage in his career. He has previous form over 1m2f on softer ground, but may be vulnerable to younger rivals here. Course and distance winner Stone Age also lines up for Aidan O’Brien. He has placed in a Group One on very soft ground and does appear more suited to a mile-and-a-quarter following a sixth-place finish in the Epsom Derby in which he struggled to stay. If taking his earlier season form into account, he is overlooked in the market and could outrun his odds as the outsider of the field, but may not be quite good enough to land a blow in the closing stages.
The incredible Mishriff has been an exceptional servant for connections, and it would be some feat if he could add a prestigious Group One in Ireland to his list of achievements. Beaten a neck by Vadeni at Sandown, Mishriff struggled to find room in the closing stages following a slow start and was slightly unlucky to taste defeat. He gave 10lbs to his younger rival on that occasion, with 6lbs between them here. John & Thady Gosden’s five-year-old horse seems to excel over this trip, whilst also being effective over 1m4f. He won his maiden on heavy ground, as well as a Group Two in Deauville, but would likely prefer a sounder surface and the soft ground may turn the tables in favour of his French rival. However, he shouldn’t be ruled out as he is a highly-respected contender who is more than capable of adding another top-class race to his record.
Another French-raider is Fabrice Chappet’s colt Onesto. By Frankel out of an unraced Sea The Stars mare, the Group One-winner over 1m4f has plenty of class in his pedigree but will need to reverse form with Vadeni over this trip, which could prove a tough task.
William Haggas’ Alenquer has a number of Group wins to his name and is highly effective on soft ground. He finished four-and-a-half-lengths behind Vadeni in the Eclipse having made the running, but perhaps wasn’t suited to the firmer conditions and will likely fare better here.
3.45pm Leopardstown – Luxembourg 1pt win @ 7/2 (all firms, William Hill standout at 9/2)
4.20pm – Solonaway Stakes (Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile) (Group 2)
Jadoomi heads the market ahead of this Group Two contest over a mile, for in-form trainers Simon & Ed Crisford who are currently performing at a 50% win rate. The four-year-old is two from two since being gelded and won his first Group Two when last seen. A winner on heavy ground at Longchamp, the gelding is a worthy favourite and appears the one to beat.
Course and distance winner Boundless Ocean has appeared progressive in recent months and landed back-to-back Group Three contests recently, with both wins coming at this track. He has appeared progressive in recent months, putting his Classic disappointment in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket behind him and thriving back on home soil. The Group One Irish Derby slightly stretched his capabilities, but a drop back in trip has proved to be a successful move and he should be competitive. Raadobarg has plenty to do to reverse form with Boundless Ocean on his last run in the Desmond Stakes, but has previously run well on soft ground and is a tough colt.
Just Beautiful is making her first appearance of the season having been off the track since last October when she won a Group Three at Doncaster. She has switched stables since and makes her debut for Paddy Twomey. A classy filly, she has good form in Group contests and has previously gone well fresh.
Last year’s winner Real Appeal finished a length-and-a-half ahead of Georgeville twelve months ago. The pair line up again here, both needing to show improvement on their current form to be competitive.
Glounthaune won a Group Three as a juvenile, beating Boundless Ocean, but is yet to show the required ability at this level as a three-year-old. Outsider of the field Statement makes her debut for new trainer Joseph O’Brien. She has placed twice in Group Three races and her only win to date has come on heavy ground.
4.20pm Leopardstown – Jadoomi 1pt win @ 9/4 (bet365, William Hill, 10bet, Sport Nation, Betway etc.)
4.55pm – Matron Stakes (Group 1)
Another exceptional Group One is on the card at 4:55pm, this time for fillies and mares over a mile. Dermot Weld’s Homeless Songs was breath-taking at the Curragh when last seen winning the Irish 1000 Guineas. She made light work of her rivals, beating Oaks-winner Tuesday by five-and-a-half lengths. The Frankel filly should be suited to a softer surface and will be tough to beat if anywhere near her best on her return.
She does face stiff opposition in the form of Jane Chapple-Hyam’s Saffron Beach, however, a high-class filly fresh from a Group One victory at Deauville, where she beat Tenebrism by two-and-a-half-lengths. The four-year-old has won a Group Three on soft ground but gives 5lbs to her younger rivals.
Tenebrism is perhaps better suited to a shorter trip, but has performed respectably in her previous two outings over a mile. She has been running in high-class races and has each-way claims in this contest. Stablemate Concert Hall drops back in trip following a disappointing performance in the Nassau Stakes when last seen. She appears to have a bit to find with a few of her rivals and was well held in her only run on soft ground.
Course and distance winner Pearls Galore sports first-time cheekpieces and should be suited by the expected conditions. She has plenty to find with Saffron Beach and Tenebrism on Prix Rothschild form but should be respected and is capable of performing better this time out.
Agartha performed well to land another Group Three when last seen, but this is much more competitive and she has been beaten twice by Homeless Songs this season.
Henry de Bromhead’s Star Girls Aalmal was well held in the 1000 Guineas but performed respectably in the Jersey Stakes and may be suited to the softer ground. Her stablemate Honey Girl is still searching for her first win and has plenty to find with Agartha on Tipperary form.
Sir Michael Stoute’s mare Lights On is an interesting contender. She won a Group Two earlier in the season, beating Mutasaabeq and Alcohol Free among others. In the Queen Anne Stakes she was less effective, finishing sixth of seven, beaten ten-lengths by Baaeed. However, she has enjoyed two wins on soft ground and has plenty of experience. She could possibly outrun her odds and could have each-way potential if at her best.
4.55pm Leopardstown – Homeless Songs 1pt win @ 6/5 (bet365, Paddy Power, William Hill, 888sport etc.)
5.30pm – Premier Handicap
Heading the market is three-year-old colt Temple Of Artemis, sporting first time blinkers with a tongue strap. He was fourth of six in a recent Group Three and is possibly unexposed off a mark of 96. Stablemate Nusret has stamina to prove over this trip, but his pedigree suggests he should stay and he is another unexposed contender.
Dutch Schultz stays well and copes with softer conditions. He is back down in trip but has previously won over 1m6f at Gowran Park. He is 15lbs higher on his flat rating than when last recording a win and has 7lbs claimer Robert Whearty onboard.
Course and distance winner La Hacienda is another runner in first time blinkers. She is 3lbs higher than when winning a handicap at Killarney recently, and is bidding for hat-trick of wins here. The mare represents a yard performing at a 30% win rate and is one to consider off a mark of 86, as she is potentially fairly well handicapped. Her stablemate One Cool Poet is a likable gelding and was last seen winning a handicap over hurdles at Down Royal.
Willie Mullins saddles Baby Zeus, a five-year-old gelding capable of running well if on song. He has been well held in his last two runs, however, and others may be better handicapped.
Top-weight Licence faces a tough task off a mark of 102, only 1lbs lower for his disappointing Ebor run at York, whilst Rachael Blackmore rides Tiger Voice for Henry de Bromhead, a gelding running with the addition of a first-time tongue strap alongside cheekpieces.
5.30pm Leopardstown – One Cool Poet 0.5pt E/W @ 20-1 (BetUK, Ladbrokes, bet365 or 22-1 with Coral and Spreadex)
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