Like Father Like Son In Champion Stakes
Few could argue that the Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday is one of the greatest races to be run in Ireland in decades – if not ever – and whoever comes out on top is going to well and truly earn it.
Like Father, Like Son
Few will ever forget Sea The Stars winning the 2009 Irish Champion Stakes and if the declarations are anything to go by, we won’t forget this 2016 renewal but like his sire, Harzand can come out on top.
The dual Derby winner has really gone from strength to strength since he bolted up to win his maiden at Cork and having been freshened up since winning the Irish Derby, he can hold off the top class filly Minding.
The rain that fell on Friday afternoon will certainly have been very welcomed by all associated with Rosewell House as Harzand won’t be inconvenienced by any drop of it, but that aside, the colt has won two Derbys and at Epsom things could hardly have gone any worse for him. There may even be an argument for saying that he still hasn’t got the credit he fully deserves.
The superlatives will surely be in free flow if Harzand can win the Irish Champion Stakes and it will be no surprise to see him jump off favourite.
Keatley Reaching For The Stars
Adrian Keatley could be about to enjoy another day to remember with Jet Setting as she lines up in the Matron Stakes. The fledging trainer has enjoyed a dream run with the daughter of Fast Company who has brought up his first Classic when winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas and then going on to make over £1m at the London Sale on the eve of Royal Ascot.
Keatley now trains the filly for the China Horse Club and he is confident that she is back to her best after finding her to be under the weather for her last run. He wouldn’t be running her if he wasn’t happy and in winning the Guineas she made herself the only filly to overturn Minding this season and if Minding was here she’d be a lot shorter than the 8/1 on offer for Jet Setting.
Qemah is a standard setter for Jean-Claude Rouget and is rightfully prominent in the betting but Jet Setting is overpriced, especially with every bit of rainfall that lands in Foxrock in the next 24-hours.
Stick With Ben In Petingo
The Petingo Handicap over 1m6f is a real competitive affair with a full field of 16 going to post and among the market leaders is Pyromaniac who could only finish seventh in the Galway Hurdle after a controversial lead up to that race. However, a horse that finished third in Galway in the big amateur handicap on the opening night, is the Harry Rogers-trained Benkei.
The six-year-old was pitched in at a high level last time when running in the St Leger Trial at the Curragh behind Order Of St George and although no match for him, Benkei could be competitive off his mark of 98 and at odds of 14/1 he makes appeal.
Benkei – 4:35 Leopardstown
Jet Setting – 5:35 Leopardstown
Harzand – 6:45 Leopardstown
*Prices correct at time of publication