Multiple Group 1 winner Alpha Centauri heads the list of 44 horses entered for the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, 15th September, the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
Trained by Jessica Harrington, Alpha Centauri added to her Tattersalls Irish 1,000 win at The Curragh with a stunning success in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot where she set a new course record for the round mile, and then followed it up with another impressive performance at Newmarket’s July meeting.
Hydrangea, the winner of last year’s Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes, is one of 13 entries for Irish Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien who has also put Magic Wand, winner of the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, and his Group 1 Lockinge Stakes winner Rhododendron in the €350,000 contest that was ranked as the world’s best fillies and mares’ race in 2017.
There are 15 British-trained entries, headed by Royal Ascot winner, Aljazzi for Marco Botti. Tribute Act, from James Fanshawe’s yard, chased her home in the Group 2 Duke Of Cambridge Stakes and is also in the early line-up. Veracious was third to Alpha Centauri at Royal Ascot and has been given an entry by Michael Stoute. Urban Fox defeated Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together to win the Group 1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh on Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Weekend and she has been entered by her trainer William Haggas.
Jean-Claude Rouget has tasted Longines Irish Champions Weekend success with Almanzor in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes in 2016 and he has entered Mission Impassable, winner of the Group 2 Prix de Sandringham at Chantilly.