The Curragh hosts a bumper 9-race card on the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend, with 4 of the contests at Group 1 level.
The afternoon’s highlight is the Comer Group International Irish St Leger over 1m 6f, a race where last year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup winner, Cross Counter, takes on the 2018 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby victor, Latrobe, and last season’s Ladbroke’s St Leger winning horse, Kew Gardens, among others.
The Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes is always an intriguing race, with potential stars on view. It will be interesting to see if the much-touted son of Galileo, Armory, winner of his last three starts, has enough to challenge the Charlie Appleby-trained unbeaten colt Pinatubo in the Godolphin silks.
Nine have been declared for the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes over 7 furlongs. Jessica Harrington’s unbeaten daughter of Zoffany, Albigna, will likely start favourite, with her greatest challenge likely to come from Roger Varian’s Daahyeh, a winner at Royal Ascot last June.
The Derrinstown Stud Flying Five, another contest at the highest level, sees half the field come from England. Edward Lynam, who previously won this race with Sole Power in 2015 when it was then a Group 2 event, will have the probable favourite in Soffia. Archie Watson’s Soldier’s Call and another overseas challenger, Mabs Cross, may be the biggest dangers to Lynam’s four-year-old filly, who is on a four-timer.
The 4.50pm race at The Curragh will be one of the most eagerly-awaited of the day as former champion jockeys of both National Hunt and Flat racing return to the saddle for the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland. Legendary riders such as Tony McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Ted Durcan, Charlie Swan, Paul Carberry, Joseph O’Brien, Johnny Murtagh, Richard Hughes and Kieran Fallon will make for a very competitive one-mile contest.
Day 2 of Longines Champions Weekend begins at 1.20pm, with the final race going to post at 6pm.