As if Doncaster was not enough we have Irish Champions Weekend to enjoy as well over the next couple of days. I will be getting involved over in the Emerald Isle with the following bets for day one at Leopardstown. There are more races than you can shake a stick at over the two days so be careful; I am concentrating on a selection of the big ones. I will look at Sunday on a separate post.
The main event is at 4.15 the Group One 1m2f QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes. Magical has been heading the market, no Enable here, but I think she might have wanted some more rain ideally. The same can be said of the improving three-year-old Headman as well. You can understand why the pair head the market but it ain t going to rain – the going was Good-good to firm in places on Thursday. Deirdre won the 1m2 G.1 Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in impressive style and is one that won’t mind the word firm in the going and the weather is set fine for the weekend. At 12-1 I took the each-way plunge on Thursday.
At 5.25 they line-up for the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes over a mile. Laurens has to give the younger generations 5lb but last years winner is a real force to be reckoned with at this trip against her own sex. On paper she is up against it but I have taken the 13-8 with Power in the week that she proves to be Queen again. Aidan O'Brien is responsible for sour of runners and reported his best chance Hermosa ready to go earlier this week saying “Hermosa came out of her last run at Goodwood in good form.” The dual Guineas winner does have questions to answer now having been beaten at Ascot and finishing tailed-off, all be it over 1m2f, at Goodwood. John Oxx hopes Skitter Scatter can find the sort of form she has shown in the past having pulled her hamstring in the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket in May. I, of course, tipped her when she was second at Tipperary in August on her return to action in a Group Three. This now looks a big ask.