Irish Champion Stakes Preview – Our 1-2-3 Prediction For Saturday’s Group 1 At Leopardstown
The first day of Irish Champions weekend is at Leopardstown, which features two Group 1’s on the card. We preview the first of those – the Irish Champion Stakes.
Vadeni got the better of Mishriff in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown earlier this year – can he confirm that form or will a clearer path be enough for Mishriff to come out on top?
Find out who we’re siding with in our 1-2-3 prediction for the race ↓
1st – Mishriff
MISHRIFF has been tough to win with lately, failing to land any sort of win for over a year now, but he’s had some nightmare runs and this could be the time he finally gets a bit of luck.
It’s likely he would’ve won had he not had his path blocked and had to switch in the Coral-Eclipse, where despite that he only finished a neck behind Vadeni. He then fluffed the start at Royal Ascot, which put paid to any chance of winning. He still finished third that day, ahead of Broome, Westover and Emily Upjohn, so he did still come out with some credit.
He then only found the monstrous Baaeed too good in the Juddmonte last month, but you can easily forgive him for losing there! If Baaeed wasn’t in the race he would’ve run out a comfortable winner and would likely be much shorter odds here.
2nd – Vadeni
After winning his last three races, it’s hardly a surprise that VADENI is set to go off as favourite for this. But he was a tad fortunate to win the Coral-Eclipse last time out and may reverse form with Mishriff here.
His Group 1 victory in the Prix du Jockey Club was hugely impressive, where he bolted up to win by five lengths, despite being eased down towards the end. That was on soft ground and the ground isn’t expected to have too much give on Sunday.
He then battled gamely to win the Coral-Eclipse, but Mishriff only just failed to catch him and he had a bit of a nightmare passage. With a clearer run here, we expect that form to reverse, but Vadeni is still a top class horse and can finish clear of the rest.
3rd – Luxembourg
A P O’Brien sends the lightly-raced LUXEMBOURG to this, and he may not quite be able to match the top two in the betting, but he should be able to finish in the places.
He’s only had five races so far, but he’s won four of those, with his only blemish being a third in the 2000 Guineas. His most recent run was a win in the Royal Whip Stakes, which was slightly underwhelming as despite going off as a heavy 2/9 favourite, he only just held off the challenge of Insinuendo.
A P O’Brien has won three of the last ten renewals, and although he has three entries this year, Luxembourg looks to be the pick of the bunch. He might not have what it takes to beat Mishriff and Vadeni, but he can be the best of the rest.