Roaring Lion wins thrilling €1.25 million QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown

Roaring Lion gets the better of Saxon Warrior. Credit: Satie @polkamazurka

The score in now 4-2 in favour of Roaring Lion as he again got the better of Saxon Warrior at Leopardstown on Saturday to claim the €1.25 million QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.

Aidan O’Brien’s Deauville had set the early pace in the mile and a quarter Group 1 event, with Ryan Moore on Saxon Warrior in close proximity before Moore sent the QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner into the lead early in the home straight at the South Co. Dublin venue.

Kerry-born rider Oisín Murphy was full of composure on the 8/11 favourite Roaring Lion, even when he found himself two lengths behind Saxon Warrior with just over a furlong to travel.

The John Gosden-trained colt, Roaring Lion, continued to narrow the gap all the way to the line, nabbing the Coolmore-owned Saxon Warrior by a neck, with Deauville a further two and three quarter lengths back in third place

Jockey Oisín Murphy was claiming his seventh Group 1 victory of the season, and the first in his native country, having incredibly only won his first race in Ireland earlier on the day’s card when steering the Willie Mullins-trained Limini to victory.

In reviewing the race, Murphy said:

“The race changed complexion about three times. Saxon Warrior got a great ride from Ryan and he got first run. “It was very tactical and John (Gosden) and I thought it might turn out that way. I just wanted to get into a nice rhythm, get him balanced and then see which is the better horse. I had to get him into top gear and he’s come home really well.”

Commenting on an incredible day, the Kerry jockey added:

“It means the world to me. It’s one of my best days for sure and one I’ll not forget for a long time. It’s surreal.”

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