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2018 Irish Champions Weekend tips - Through the card tips at the Curragh on St Leger Sunday

Curragh races.

Our expert takes a look through the card on Irish St Leger day at the Curragh and provides readers with his tips for every race on Sunday 16th September.

The Curragh picks up where Leopardstown left off on the second afternoon of Irish Champions Weekend, welcoming a capacity crowd through their historic gates to enjoy a card packed with quality. The Irish St Leger is the main event of the day, but there three further Group Ones to take in, along with the Group Two Blanford Stakes and couple of enthralling handicaps.

Our expert has taken a look through the ante-post betting for all of Sunday’s races at the Curragh and provided readers with tips for each contest on day two of Irish Champions Weekend.

Irish St Leger Day Tips

2:00pm Irish Stallion Farms EBF "Bold Lad" Sprint Handicap (Premier Handicap) (3yo+) 6f



As we haven’t even reached the 48 hours declaration stage, it’s very difficult to come up with tips for the races where there are no odds available. However, we can speculate as to which runners will be the ones to beat and there are several who appeal in this card-opening sprint.

Urban Beat will be searching for a four-timer when he lines up at the Curragh and Blairmayne is an interesting contender for Natalia Lupini, but British raiders have enjoyed great success in this handicap over recent season and the one who holds the greatest appeal is GLENAMOY LAD - who was beaten by just three lengths in the Stewards Cup after almost a year off the track and Michael Wigham’s sprinter should be a big player on his return to Irish soil.

I'm So Fancy (left) winning a Listed contest at the Curragh earlier in the season.

2:35pm Moyglare "Jewels" Blandford Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (3yo+) 1m2f


After starting her season with a couple of defeats, Jessica Harrington’s charge claimed back-to-back Listed victories here at the Curragh, with the first of those coming over this ten furlong trip. The Rajj filly then finished second behind the impressive Magical in the Kilboy Estate Stakes, before coming up just two-and-a-half lengths short of the winner in the historic Prix Jean Romanet.

I’m So Fancy secured the biggest win of her career on her most recent run, beating the progressive Desert Diamond in the Snow Fairy Fillies’ Stakes here at the Curragh and she has the quality to challenge in this Group Two.

3:05pm Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes (Group 1) (3yo+) 5f



Battle Of Jericho has impressed at times this season and boasts strong form here at the Curragh to back up his claims. He, however, was beaten by HAVANA GREY in the Sapphire Stakes over course-and-distance and Karl Burke’s sprinter certainly looks the one to topple once again.

After claiming a surprise victory in that Group Two, Havana Grey’s triumphant return to British soil ended in disappointment at Goodwood, where he faded to finish sixth as Battaash retained his King George crown. PJ McDonald then found himself drawn away from the pace in the Nunthorpe, but Havana Grey produced a superb solo effort to stay with the leaders for much of the race before eventually passing the post fifth.

That effort at York was much better than the result suggests. Burke will have to find a replacement for the injured McDonald, but whoever is booked in Havana Grey’s saddle is sure to fancy their chances. 

William Buick riding Quorto to victory in The bet365 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.

3:40pm Moyglare Stud Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies) (2yo) 7f



Fairyland and So Perfect both impressed on their most recent runs in high-class company, but I’d prefer to back a filly who’s proven themselves over seven or eight furlongs than those stepping up in trip. Just Wonderful leads the way in the current betting, but the form of her most recent Group Three victory doesn’t look that impressive and there are others who appeal at longer prices.

Main Edition made a smooth transition to seven furlongs when seeing off La Pelosa in the Sweet Solera Stakes. Mark Johnston’s filly and locally based Skitter Scatter are sure to have their supporters, but I’ve been following BEYOND REASON all season and she currently offers plenty of each-way value at her current price.

Charlie Appleby’s filly has won three of her five career starts, with her two most recent triumphs coming in French pattern races. The daughter of Australia produced a superb display at Deauville last month, comfortably seeing off her rivals to win the Group two Prix du Calvados by three lengths.

Beyond Reason has only been beaten when the going has been firm, so the ground at the Curragh on Sunday should be right up her street and she hand Godolphin yet another Group One title this season.

4:15pm Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (Group 1) (Entire Colts & Fillies) (2yo) 7f



While there are clearly some capable juveniles further down the betting, I would be surprised if this year’s National Stakes wasn’t won by someone at the top end of the betting. Anthony Van Dyk has been touted as the next big thing to come through Ballydoyle, but I wasn’t that impressed with his victory in the Futurity Stakes and QUORTO looks to be the one to side with.

Charlie Appleby’s colt is the forgotten horse in the juvenile ranks, having appeared just once during the summer. Quorto entered the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July Festival as the well-backed favourite, but the style in which the Godolphin flag-bearer put the race to bed was hugely impressive.

True, the form of both his career victories hasn’t worked out particularly well. Yet, any juvenile who wins a Group Two by almost four lengths has bundles of ability. The betting suggests Appleby will target this Group One over a tilt at the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster the previous day and Quorto’s Irish counterparts better watch out if this Godolphin flag-bearer is confirmed in Sunday’s field.

Latrobe (centre) winning the Irish Derby here at the Curragh.

4:50pm Comer Group International Irish St. Leger (Group 1) (3yo+) 1m6f


Weekender deserves his crack at pattern race crown after his performance in the Ebor, but I feel LATROBE’S achievements have been a little overlooked this summer and he could hand Joseph O’Brien a first Irish St Leger crown.

Joseph O’Brien’s colt was overlooked heading into the Irish Derby, but Latrobe produced a marvellous performance to hold off Saxon Warrior and Rostropovich to claim that coveted Classic. Donnacha rode for his brother that day, positioning Latrobe on the shoulder of tenacious leader Rostropovich and the duo managed to draw half-a-length clear during the final 50 yards of the race.

After running no sort of race in the Juddmonte International, Joseph and his team shelved plans to tackle Winx in Australia, instead prioritising the St Leger and Latrobe could progress again with the step back up in trip.

5:25pm Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes (2yo) 6½f



Horses drawn high have held a distinct advantage in this race over recent years, with the previous two winners coming from stalls 23 and 30 respectively. While there are only 20 entrants in this year's renewal, going high could be the way to go again.

Barbill has been keeping esteemed company for most of the season and warrants attention, as does Ger Lyons Andre Amar if he sees out the trip. Yet, I'm going to look a little further down the betting to find my selection and DADOOZDART sticks out. Noel Meade's didn't seem out seven-and-a-half furlongs when finishing fourth the last day and a repeat of his debut performance should see him challenge from stall 17.

6:00pm Irish Stallion Farms EBF "Northfields" Handicap (Premier Handicap) (3yo+) 1m2f



Top-weight Danceteria and course-and-distance winner Inscribe have both been handed kind wide draws in the betting, so it's no surprise to see both leading the way in the betting. Once who catches the eye further down the betting is last year's runner-up MAWAANY, who will be running with a tongue-tie for the first time on Sunday.

Ger Lyon's charge came within a neck of pipping Pantsaar in this race 12 months ago. Despite several decent efforts during the summer, Mawaany returns to Curragh two pounds lower in the handicap and he will relish a return to the scene of his most recent career victory.

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2018 Irish Champions Weekend tips - Through the card tips at the Curragh on St Leger Sunday

Our expert takes a look through the card on Irish St Leger day at the Curragh and provides readers with his tips for every race on Sunday 16th September.

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