The Irish Champions Weekend of 2021 comes to a crescendo at The Curragh on Sunday, 12 September. Hot off the heels of the Irish Champion Stakes and stellar card at Leopardstown on the other side of Dublin, here are some of the best bets from the HQ of Flat horse racing in the Emerald Isle.
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Irish Champions Weekend – Blandford Stakes (2:20)
Love drops down in grade from recent assignments but carries a penalty for the 1m 2f Group 2 Blandford Stakes for fillies and mares. The weights don’t favour her or fellow highest level scorer Thundering Night here. On adjusted ratings, La Petite Coco comes out ahead of both. Paddy Twomey’s three-year-old filly still has plenty of scope for further progress.
A daughter of Ruler Of The World, La Petite Coco also has German stamina in her pedigree. She would welcome a bit of give in the ground, yet could give her elders plenty to think about on the upgrade. Best odds of 5/1 look a bit of value in a strong renewal.
Flying Five Stakes (2:55)
Kevin Ryan enters Irish Champions Weekend in good form, so Glass Slippers, last year’s winner of the Group 1 Flying Five Stakes, should make a bold bid to retain her sprint crown. This five-year-old Dream Ahead mare has always needed her reappearance and clearly looks to have been saved for an autumn campaign.
Glass Slippers ran a fine third in the King George Qatar Stakes at Glorious Goodwood on her return to action. She meets the runner-up, Dragon Symbol, off 3lb better terms. That gives Glass Slippers every chance of reversing form. There is more to like about her at a top-price 3/1 than favourite Winter Power, who has only won locally to the stable at York this season.
Moyglare Stud Stakes (3:30)
As the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes later on the Irish Champions Weekend Sunday card looks all about Point Lonsdale, Agartha appeals in the equivalent contest for juvenile fillies – the 7f Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. Trained by Joseph O’Brien, this daughter of Caravaggio has experience on her side and keeps things simple.
Agartha has progressed through the grades making all in her last two starts. Homeless Songs did beat her in a Leopardstown maiden beforehand, so remains an unexposed danger. However, Agartha is a gutsy filly who has fought from the front. She has also achieved plenty since last facing her re-opposing rival. For that reason Agartha appeals at best odds of 100/30 to complete her hat-trick.
Irish St Leger (4:40)
In the feature Irish St Leger over 1m 6f, dual race winner Search For A Song comes out best on adjusted ratings. She may have been laid out for a hat-trick in the big stayers’ race on the second day of Irish Champions Weekend by her shrewd handler Dermot Weld. This Moyglare Stud owned mare is now a five-year-old yet has often had targets over too sharp a trip.
This is where Search For A Song has put her best foot forward. She meets re-opposing rival Emperor Of The Sun off 3lb better terms from her second at Leopardstown on reappearance. A line can easily be put through the daughter of Galileo’s last outing too. Search For A Song simply isn’t as effective over middle distances. All her best form comes here, and the top-price 6/1 about her looks value. Baron Samedi might prove best of the Joseph O’Brien trio now getting a greater test of stamina.
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