Deirdre becomes the first Japanese-trained runner in Ireland when she lines up in a field of eight for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday afternoon.
The Mitsuru Hashida-trained mare bids to add to her battling success in the Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood under Oisin Murphy who won the Leopardstown feature on the John Gosden-trained Roaring Lion a year ago.
The Roger Charlton-trained Headman and Elarqam, supplemented for the race on Tuesday by Mark Johnston, make up the raiding party and will face up to a quartet of runners from Aidan O'Brien whose team is headed by star filly Magical. Anthony Van Dyck, Magic Wand and Hunting Horn complete the Ballydoyle contingent while the Kevin Prendergast-trained Madhmoon, a popular winner on the card last year, ensures a high-quality field goes to post.
Last year’s winner Laurens heads the seven declared runners for the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes where four of the septet are Group 1 winners. Aidan O'Brien will be represented by a team of four - dual Guineas winner Hermosa, I Can Fly, Happen and Just Wonderful - while John Oxx and Joseph O'Brien saddle top-level winners Skitter Scatter and Iridessa respectively.
The KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes, a Group 2 race for the second year, has attracted seven runners headed by the current Epsom Derby ante-post favourite Mogul. A second Group 2 on the stellar card is the Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes for which there are nine runners going forward with Suedois, Matterhorn and the unbeaten Lancaster House certainly in the mix.
Joseph O'Brien’s Buckhurst and the Dermot Weld-trained Broad Street head the way in the Group 3 Paddy Power Betting Shop Stakes while the Listed Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle Stakes sees Paddy Twomey’s Ravens Cry taking on the Aidan O'Brien-trained Blissful and Jessica Harrington’s Punita Arora and Ha’penny Bridge among the field of nine.
The Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Petingo” Handicap boasts a field of 18 runners including One Cool Poet, Matthew Smith’s three-time Galway festival winner while 17 have been declared for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Sovereign Path” Handicap with the Harrington-trained Marshall Jennings topping the weights in a line up that includes Jassaar, Shawaamekh, Ice Cold In Alex and Admiralty.
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