Leopardstown Racecourse hosts Day 1 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend today with racing beginning at 1.55pm.
The 8-race card at the South Co. Dublin venue includes two Group 1 contests, the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at 4.15pm and the Coolmore ‘Fastnet Rock’ Matron Stakes, which goes to post at 5.25pm.
Aidan O’Brien accounts for half the field in the Group 1 QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, where Magical looks to be the pick of the Ballydoyle horses, and the choice of the stable’s No. 1 jockey, Ryan Moore.
Much attention will focus on Deirdre, the first Japanese-trained horse to run in Ireland, and she is the mount of Kerry-born jockey Oisín Murphy. The presence of the Mitsuru Hashida-trained five-year-old is a big coup for Leopardstown and for Longines Irish Champions Weekend, as the race will be broadcast live of the Japanese Racing Channel.
The Karl Burke-trained Laurens bids to successfully defend her Coolmore ‘Fastnet Rock’ Matron Stakes title when she challenges Skitter Scatter and dual Guineas winner Hermosa, to name but a few, in a quality 7-runner contest.