The Champions of the UK and Ireland are set to clash in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown
In what is an excellent renewal of the Irish Champion Stakes this seasons leading lights will clash. Roger Charlton’s Al Kazeem will look to revenge his defeat to Declaration Of War at York. Connections will hope that the softening conditions may assist their raider and dampen the chances of the top of ground O’Brien horse. Another classy York winner The Fugue will also enter the fold but may be outclassed by her male rivals. The unknown quantity that is Kingsbarns adds intrigue to the contest. Favourite for the Classics over the winter this three-year-old would have to be very special to figure on his seasonal debut. The three-year-old with the strongest claims in the field is Bolger’s Trading Leather who still looks to be progressing. Bolger’s other runner Parish Hall is unexposed and is no slouch either. A true champion will be crowned after this renewal.
Future champions may be on show earlier in the meeting at (5.15) when the highly regarded Free Eagle meets the much touted Australia. Whoever wins will be much favoured in the markets for Classic success. The Group One Matron Stakes looks a weak affair where the French challenger Kenhope should take the prize.
Crockford’s Leopardstown selections on Irish Champion Stakes Day:
Masai (4.15), Piet Mondrian (4.45), Free Eagle (5.15), Kenhope (5.45), The United States (6.15) and Al Kazeem (Irish Champion Stakes 6.50)
(Featured Photograph – Declaration Of War at Glorious Goodwood by Stuart Rice)