Best British Challengers At Irish Champions Weekend
Strongest British-trained horses running at Irish Champions Weekend
It’s Irish Champions Weekend this Saturday and Sunday as Leopardstown, and then the Curragh plays host to two days of top-class racing action that includes no fewer than ten Group races – six of them Group 1 contests!
In anticipation of what promises to be a fascinating weekend’s action, here at Racing Tips we have identified the main British hopefuls in these weekend’s races – and evaluate their likely opposition in their respective races.
DREAMLOPER – (1:40 Leopardstown, Saturday, Matron Stakes)
The fillies and mares mile division looks wide open and if there is a horse with the potential to be the fly in the ointment it could be DREAMLOPER, who made the jump from progressive handicapper to Group performer when running out a wide-margin winner of the Group 3 Valiant Stakes on her penultimate start.
Ed Walker’s filly found the drop back to seven furlongs against her when a creditable fourth in the Hungerford Stakes last time out.
Returning to a mile looks certain to suit on that basis, and at the age of four, it seems unlikely that we have seen the ceiling of Dreamloper’s ability just yet. Whist she will have a little to find on the figures with the likes of Mother Earth and Create Belief, conditions will be in her favour at Leopardstown this weekend, and of trainer, Ed Walker’s three previous runners this side of the Irish Sea, two have placed – suggesting that the 16/1 available about Dreamloper could look a spot of each-way value.
WINTER POWER – (2:55 Curragh, Sunday, Flying Five Stakes)
WINTER POWER was smart at two but has taken her form to a new level at three, winning three of her four starts this season, the sole defeat coming in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot where she appeared to set too strong a pace.
Tim Easterby’s filly got the fractions spot-on in the Nunthorpe latest, however, where she ultimately ran out a comfortable length and a quarter winner.
That form was franked in no uncertain terms when the runner-up, Emaraaty Ana landed last weekend’s Sprint Cup at Haydock, and with just thirteen career runs to her name, Winter Power looks unlikely to have finished her progression just yet.
Being a three-year-old filly, she receives weight allowances from the majority of these rivals, and runners from her age group have a good recent record in this race, having landed three of the last four renewals.
The main dangers to Winter Power appear to come from her fellow British raiders Dragon Symbol – who finished behind her in the Nunthorpe – and Glass Slippers – who landed this prize last year and appears to have been primed for a repeat bid.
NATIVE TRAIL – (4:05 Curragh, Sunday, National Stakes)
Charlie Appleby, William Buick and Godolphin have teamed up to land the National Stakes with Quorto (2018) and Pinatubo (2019) in recent years and that combination appears to hold live claims in this year’s renewal with NATIVE TRAIL.
This son of Oasis Dream has won both career starts to date, building on a facile victory over the now 108-rated Royal Patronage when gamely landing the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last time.
This race was immediately nominated as a potential target for Native Trail after that Newmarket success, and the form received a healthy boost when the runner-up Masekela landed a Listed contest at Newbury last month.