Saturday 9th September 2017 Leopardstown
QIPCO Irish Champions Stakes (Group 1) 1m 2f
I normally start these previews off praising what an outstanding renewal it is again but i’m not so excited by this one. This is probably down to what an unbelievable line up we had for last year’s race, won by Almanzor. Who was followed home by the brilliant Found.
It’s headed by the dual Guineas winner Churchill for AP O’Brien and Ryan Moore on the back of his second placed effort in the Juddmonte at York behind Ulysses. He was on a bit of a comeback mission that day after flopping at Royal Ascot when fourth behind Barney Roy but in my opinion he came back well and ran a really nice race.
Eminent comes here off the back off a dominant display in France in a Group 2 contest where he put his stamp on the race from the front. However I don’t think he’ll have it his own way here as he did that day as there are several in here that could make it difficult for him if they deploy those tactics again. Cliffs Of Moher being one of these who went off in front in the Juddmonte and could well do that again here.
I think Churchill could well be far too classy for the field here, he’s streets above some of these and should bow out in style and claim another Group 1 success. There is one at a huge price that I like and to anyone that follows this page on a regular basis will know that I’m a big fan of this horse and that’s Decorated Knight for Roger Charlton. He’s a best priced 22/1 for this which I think is far too big for a proven Group 1 performer. He was albeit a little below par in his last two efforts although in contests with arguably stronger fields than this. But he’s still had a Group 1 second at Royal Ascot to his name and a victory in one at the Curragh earlier this year. He’s been on the go for quite a while having also competed in Meydan but I think there’s a lot worse you could back at such a price.
Selections: Churchill 11/10 – Decorated Knight 22/1 E/W