Irish Champion Stakes: Luxembourg take home the flag against Vadeni and Mishriff |  Horse racing news

Irish Champion Stakes: Luxembourg take home the flag against Vadeni and Mishriff | Horse racing news

By Mark Boylan

Saturday: 3.45 Leopardstown
Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) | 1m2f | 3yrs+ | TEN2/RTV

Having scored with the exceptional Almanzor in 2016, Jean-Claude Rouget and Christophe Soumillon know exactly what it takes to win Ireland’s top flat prize.

History could repeat itself in this year’s Irish Champion Stakes as the duo team up with French star Vadeni, who won the Coral-Eclipse on his last visit.

Rouget was surprised at the physical development of the three-year-old in the ten weeks since Sandown, and hinted that a much stronger version of Churchill’s colt could be on display at Leopardstown.

Soumillon has already called the runaway Prix du Jockey Club striker a “monster”, a “superstar” and a “machine” in recent weeks.

Rouget said: “He will have to adapt to the course of the race. There should be no more rain on Saturday, so I expect the ground to be good to soft, which is good. It’s difficult to have a horse in top form for York and the Irish champions and the calendar dictates that this is the race to go to.”

‘We are very happy with Luxembourg’ – O’Brien prepares three-pronged attack

No one has cultivated the Irish Champion Stakes like Aidan O’Brien in the race’s storied history, and the legendary trainer is responsible for 43% of the field this time around as he targets a record 11th success.

Luxembourg is the clear captain of this year’s Ballydoyle challenge. O’Brien predicted there would be a “20-30%” improvement from the three-year-old star following his winning return from injury in the Royal Whip Stakes.

“Everything has gone well with Luxembourg since their last start at the Curragh,” said O’Brien, who is aiming for a fourth consecutive victory at the Irish Champion Stakes.

“He had a good run in the 2,000 Guineas before he got his break, and we were delighted with his first start. We always thought he was going to be a middle-distance horse this year. We’re happy from him.”

Regarding the ground conditions for the Camelot colt, O’Brien said: “He’s a good moving horse and I think a nice ground would suit everyone.

A slow start proved detrimental to the chances of this year’s Hardwicke Stakes winner Broome when he finished fourth in a Grade 1 Saratoga two weeks ago.

The six-year-old’s best form is further away, but he manages an ease in the floor and posts form figures of 211 on this track.

“Broome came home well in his last start in Saratoga,” O’Brien said. “He just missed the break and came back a bit on a tight track, but we were happy with the way he saw his run end. He hasn’t done much since his comeback but seems to be in good shape. Good shape.”

Edward Whitaker (

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Broome: Dominant Hardwicke Stakes winner at Royal Ascot

Broome: Dominant Hardwicke Stakes winner at Royal Ascot

Edward Whitaker (

The impressive Stone Age Trial Derby winner returns to the stage in his career best after finishing third and fifth in New York as a freshman on his last two outings.

O’Brien said: “Maybe it didn’t really sit well with him in America, he just got caught a bit short in both races. Coming back to this track should hopefully suit him. He is in good shape and has had some time since his last race [five weeks ago].”

Gosden happy with Mishriff but thinks Luxembourg ‘could be the big improver’

Co-manager John Gosden believes Luxembourg have the potential to pose a major threat to international star Mishriff if the ground conditions remain easy as the Clarehaven side bid for a fifth Irish league triumph.

One of the most versatile performers on the planet, the ambitious country boy of five has a score to settle with Vadeni after he was beaten just a neck in the Eclipse when he had no luck in race.

Gosden said: “His preparation has gone really well, but we’ll see how much rain they get. He can handle the cup, but we wouldn’t want to see him bottomless. He could run a big race, but we don’t want to. no it’s heavy.

“Luxembourg is the one that’s interesting because if he looks back on what he showed at Doncaster as a two-year-old and his Guineas run, he’s the one to watch, he could be the big improver. probably relishes the floor.”

Chappet: “We are very confident that Onesto will work well”

Relations of impressive Paris Grand Prix scorer Onesto are hoping the conditions don’t turn into tests for their exciting three-year-old, who completes a solid French challenge.

The ground was labeled soft when Frankel’s colt finished six-and-three-quarters a length behind Vadeni in the Prix du Jockey Club, but Onesto impressed by coming back from good to soft at Longchamp in his last appearance at mid -July.

Sam Hendry

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Onesto: Impressive the last time he landed at the Paris Grand Prix

Onesto: Impressive the last time he landed at the Paris Grand Prix

Sam Hendry

Coach Fabrice Chappet said: “He’s in very good shape and we’re going there very confident he’ll run well. Of course it won’t be easy. They usually go at a good pace which will suit him. good to soft wouldn’t be a problem, but if it gets softer than that, then he would have a question to answer.”

The arrival of heavy rain in the Dublin area over the past week will have been music to the ears of Alenquer’s connections, as the William Haggas-trained contender bids for another top middle distance award in Ireland this season.

A heavy-court loan winner in last year’s King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, the classy four-year-old showed great attitude to lift the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May.

Patrick McCann (

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Tom Marquand gives a thumbs up after Alenquer wins Tattersalls Gold Cup

Tom Marquand gives a thumbs up after Alenquer wins Tattersalls Gold Cup

Patrick McCann (

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