Tag Archives: Longines

Irish Champions Weekend (G1)

It could be an exceptional day for the Niarchos Family.

The owners of both Alpha Centauri and Study Of Man may end the day celebrating having the best three year old filly and best three year old colt in the world, on turf at least.

The Matron Stakes (G1)

Alpha Centauri after her win in the Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh in May

Jessica Harrington’s filly began her sequence of mile win’s with the Irish 1000 Guineas in May followed by the Coronation Stakes in June and Falmouth Stakes in July. She improved with each run and last time out in the Jacques le Marois in August she was mighty impressive when she beat Recoletos who has since franked the form in no uncertain terms by winning the G1 Prix de Moulin at Lonchamp last week.

Happily, Clemmie, Magical and Lightening Quick are the other Irish contenders. It’s hard to see any of them upsetting the favourite as she’s beaten Happily and Clemmie at the Curragh with the latter also suffering defeat at Ascot and Newmarket as well. Happily has got the closest to her and a win or place for any of the Ballydoyle trio will cement Aidan O’Brien’s position at the top of PRWC 2018 Trainers Table.

Happily 27th July 2017 at Leopardstown

Magical has yet to take her on and Ryan Moore has opted for her over the other two. He may expect she’ll improve the most as she’s only had the two runs this year winning the Kilboy Estates Stakes last time out. She can be expected to improve again for that.

Johnny Murtagh will hope Lightening Quick can repeat the feat of winning as she did this day last year when trained by Ger Lyons for the Ballylinch Stud Maiden, the opening race on the card. This granted is a bit thougher.

Lightening Quick who won the first this day last year

Laurens, a dual G1 winner over 10f in France steps back to a mile, a distance she last ran at when second behind Billesdon Brooke in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket. It’s a bold step having tried a mile and a half in the Yorkshire Oaks where she didn’t stay the trip. Dan’s Dream accompanies her from England having already been a visitor when running second at listed level at Tipperary last time.

Jessica Harrington has done a fabulous job with Alpha Centauri, her pride and joy. She has got her confidence to grow and grow throughout the season and she’s treated us to better and more authoritative performances each time she’s run.

There’s a tiny doubt about her on slow ground, it’s been a showery day in Dublin today, and she was beaten here on her first run of the year on heavy ground. Whatever the ground her class will tell, at least enough to see her out with Happily the one to chase her home.

A win here will see her top PRWC 2018 Horse Table though she’ll probably be sharing top spot with Winx when she win’s the George Main Stakes at Ranwick in the morning.

Recommendation: Alpha Centauri, Happily (Exacta) 

The Irish Champion Stakes (G1)

Study Of Man also looked a proper horse in the making in the spring when winning the Prix Greffulhe as a prep for the Prix du Jockey Club.

At Chantilly he didn’t disappoint winning it snugly.

He was given a summer break and brought back in August for a G2 at Deauville where on the face of it he did disappoint running fourth however in hindsight it looked a decent effort and his jockey Stephane Pasquier who’ll be having his first ride at Leopardstown reports him in top order expecting he’ll come on an awful lot for the run.

John Gosden saddles the favourite, trading slightly odds on, Roaring Loin was impressive at York in the Juddmonte where he easily had the measure of Poets Word. The second had a difficult passage but in truth the loin had roared and was long gone and there was no chance he would have been reeled in.

Ballydoyle send a quartet of G1 winners headed by Saxon Warrior. The Guineas winner has not hit the heights expected after Newmarket and could not get to Roaring Loin last time out at York in the International. There had only been a neck between them at Sandown in the Eclipse but at York Roaring Loin had extended that to 5L. Deauville, Athena, Rhododendron also run with the best of them possibly the latter.

Willie Haggas sends Addeybb over having already plundered G1 riches here this season with Sea Of Class and Urban Fox. This is tricker.

Verbal Dexterity makes up the line up, Jim Bolger’s horse is the forgotten one having won the National Stakes last year he missed the early season through injury but did make a pleasing comeback when fourth in G3 at the Curragh recently. If he can show that kind of form again he could well be a force to be reckoned with.

A cracking days racing to open Champions Weekend. Alpha Centauri will likely be crowned Queen of Ireland in the Matron while in a fascinating Champion Stakes Roaring Loin and Study Of Man will both lay claims to being the best middle distance colt of this generation. Preference is for Study Of Man who could yet become King Of France if he adds this on route to the Arc.

Recommendation: Study Of Man 10/1 win and Verbal Dexterity 20/1 ew

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Hong Kong International Day (Group I)

The last big day on the international stage sees a cracking card at Sha Tin.

The Fugue is all the rage in the Vase coming off a super summer and autumn campaign. A top performance in the Irish Champion Stakes beating Al Kazeem and Trading Leather sent her off favourite in the Breeders Cup Turf where she was collared by the late swoop of Magician. She’ll rightly go off a short price favourite for this as even though there’s some very decent quality animals in this there are none who have the sharp turn of foot that she possesses over the 12 f here. The concern about her however is she’s been on the go for a long time since the Ecplise in July and she might just tire from those excretions.

The German raider Nymphea presents an attractive alternative. She was a Group 1 winner in the Preis Von Berlin where she beat Temida 3 L who previously was a G1 winner herself in the Preis Von Bayern. She ran at Ascot on Champions Day in the Fillies and Mares but didn’t handle the soft conditions. She will like the Fugue relish this quick surface and on the PMU will be available at a decent price.

In the sprint Lord Kanaloa comes back from Japan to defend the sprint title he won last year. He’s since added three G1’s in four outing including last time out in the Sprinters Stakes at Nakayama in September. Like The Fugue he’ll be a short price and again he’s worth taking on. Eddie Lynam sends his two stars Sole Power and Slade Power from Ireland and the latter is preferred based on a good second in the Haydock Sprint Cup which was followed up with a win on Champions Day in the Sprint Stakes. He’s an improving four year old who has acted on the a quick surface before.

The Mile is a tremendous race. Anyone who saw Moonlight Cloud last time out on Arc day in the Prix De La Floret over 7 f will have been completely blown away with the run she produced. At the two furlong pole she was last with Thierry Jarnet looking like he had fallen asleep in the saddle. When he let out some reign she buried the field in a matter of strides. It was an electric turn of foot that could only be described as Arazi style. Prior to that she beat a real high class field in the Jacques Le Marois over the mile at Deauville. There is a concern, a major one, she has travelled for times from France and been beaten every time. Last year in the Breeders Cup Mile she never travelled however she did give Black Caviar’s supporters a serious fright when lunging late to go down a head in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.

The one that could take her on is Gold Fun. The ex Ger Lyons inmate has proved himself a serious horse since moving east. He ran a beautiful race in the prep here two weeks ago and his trainer Richard Gibson will have him primed for this.

In the final Group 1 the Cup over 10 f there’s another ex Irish inmate who has turned local. From the same stable as Gold Fun Akeed Mofeed was considered a horse of very serious potential when handled by John Oxx as a two year old. Injury curtailed his career at three and he was sold east to run as as a four year old with the Hong Kong Derby as his primary target. He duly obliged. He was disappointing in the QE11 Cup in the spring but has been brought back with three preps for this in the Autumn two of which were over inadequate trips. Last time out he showed his class running wide from the back to be just touched off. In a classy international field he has the capability to see them off giving the locals something special to cheer about.

Recommendations :

Hong Kong Vase : Nymphea PMU E/W

Hong Kong Sprint : Slade Power PMU E/W

Hong Kong Mile : Gold Fun 5/1 win

Hong Kong Cup : Akeed Mofeed 5/1 win