Saturday tips for Leopardstown – Irish Champions Weekend selections through the card
Saturday tips for Leopardstown
Some top-class horse racing action in Ireland comes our way with day one of the Irish Champions Weekend and we’ve picked out our Saturday tips for Leopardstown through the first day racecard.
A cracking day of flat racing action is in store for punters on Saturday with day one of Irish Champions Weekend going to post at Leopardstown where a top-class card plays host to two Group One races with the Irish Champion Stakes being the feature race of the day.
Eight races in all will go to post throughout the day’s classy fixture which also includes Group Two and Listed races as well as some competitive Premier Handicaps to close the card and we’ve looked through the first day fixture to pick out our Saturday tips for Leopardstown through the card and best bets for the day’s Irish racing.
SATURDAY TIPS FOR LEOPARDSTOWN – IRISH CHAMPIONS WEEKEND THROUGH THE CARD SELECTIONS
12:40 Leopardstown – Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies) (2yo) 7f
LULLABY was thrown in at the deep end on debut when tackling the Group Three Flame Of Tara Stakes but she acquitted herself very well despite inexperience to finish fourth behind Magical Lagoon and with that under her belt Aidan O’Brien’s charge can prove a different proposition here.
The Galileo filly was beaten four lengths, catching the eye with her finishing effort but unable to muster a change of gear late; that experience though won’t have been lost on her and she can build on that promising first run to give the yard another winner in this race.
1:10 Leopardstown – KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (Group 2) (2yo) 1m
ATOMIC JONES can step up on his debut victory at the Curragh back in June and the Wootton Bassett colt could be the pick of Ger Lyons’ pair in this Group Two prize.
He had to work hard to make his debut a winning one, beating Point Gellibrand by a short-head and there was precious little to separate the first five although it could be argued the winner’s run was better than it appeared given he missed the break and he found plenty late on.
He’s sure to improve for that experience and this extra furlong can only be a good thing so he gets the vote to follow up that debut victory here.
1:40 Leopardstown – Coolmore America “Justify” Matron Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares) (3yo+) 1m
Mother Earth is likely to take some beating but it may pay to give another chance to EPONA PLAYS who possibly went off too hard in the Pretty Polly Stakes last time over a longer trip and dropping back to one mile can see the Australia filly post a big run.
Bill McCreery’s charge had been steadily progressive last term, winning twice which included a Group Three at Gowran Park and she returned this term to win the Park Express Stakes at Naas before running out a comfortable four lengths’ victor over Soul Search in the Lanwades Stud Stakes at the Curragh in May.
She might have failed to see out the trip last time out having tried to make all but easing back in trip she is dangerous to discount and could deliver a big run here over this more suitable trip for all she likely has to find a bit of improvement on these terms to down Aidan O’Brien’s first string.
2:10 Leopardstown – Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile (Group 2) (3yo+) 1m
The ground could prove too quick for Mac Swiney who would be hard to oppose if producing his 2000 Guineas form and preference is for MAKER OF KINGS who has been consistent for this yard with three wins which include a course and distance Group Three success back in May.
Ger Lyons’ charge had Erzindjan behind on that occasion when readily taking the Amethyst Stakes and he lost no caste in defeat when only beaten a short-head by multiple-Group One winner Japan back here over slightly further latest.
That form is very solid and the Zoffany gelding looks sure to make his presence felt again back over this one mile trip and at a venue where he’s proven very smart.
2:45 Leopardstown – Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) (3yo+) 1m2f
A cracking race in prospect despite only four runners going to post and tactics are sure to be significant with no real pace angle although Poetic Flare could be the one to move forward early and set the race up for ST MARK’S BASILICA who is unlikely to be fazed regardless of how the tactics pan out.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge comes into the race on the back of four straight wins and he is 3-3 this term with wins at Longchamp, Chantilly and Sandown latterly where he readily saw off Addeybb to win the Coral Eclipse Stakes.
His three wins this term have come on softer ground so the quicker conditions are a slight worry but he gives the impression there’s more to come and the lightly-raced Siyouni colt has shown a very potent turn of foot which could prove the difference maker at the business end.
3:15 Leopardstown – Paddy Power Stakes (Group 3) (3yo+) 1m4f
Progressive EARLSWOOD can win again having struck in two of his last three starts and Johnny Murtagh’s charge could take some beating if building on his most recent victory in the Royal Whip Stakes where he had Innisfree behind.
That one was making his return from a lengthy absence but the Pivotal colt appeared to win with something to spare and there’s likely to be more to come from him.
All his wins have come on softer ground so the quicker conditions are a slight worry although he didn’t appear to be too inconvenienced by conditions when fourth to Hurricane Lane in the Irish Derby where he might have finished closer but for stumbling between the final two furlongs and he should continue to make his presence felt here.
3:45 Leopardstown – Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Petingo” Handicap (Premier Handicap) (3yo+) 1m5f
It might be worth giving another chance to LAYFAYETTE despite his big weight and Noel Meade’s charge can bounce back from a lesser effort last time in a Group Three at the Curragh last month.
The French Navy gelding had won the time before in a Listed contest over this trip at Roscommon, beating Hector De Maris readily by just over one length in the Lenebane Stakes and the third from that race won a Listed contest next time.
For whatever reason he didn’t fire in the Royal Whip last time out but dropping back into a handicap and stepping back up in trip could see him turn in a better effort and he can make his presence felt here.
4:20 Leopardstown – Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Sovereign Path” Handicap (Premier Handicap) (3yo+) 7f
The finale on day one of Irish Champions Weekend could go to DREAM TODAY who has been running well of late, not beaten far into sixth at Gowran Park on his last attempt at this longer trip before getting back to winning ways at Fairyhouse in June with a defeat of Independent Missy.
A useful sort for Jamie Osborne for whom he rounded off his time with a victory at Goodwood has now joined Adrian McGuinness and wintered in Dubai prior to returning for the turf season where he’s contested some valuable handicaps throughout the campaign.
Possibly just in need of the run following ten weeks off the track when fourth at Dundalk last month he’s been dropped another 2lbs in the weights and is beginning to become well-handicapped with a good claimer taking off a further 7lbs so there’d be no surprise in seeing the Dream Ahead gelding deliver a big performance in a competitive closing contest.