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Irish St Leger
Irish St Leger Sunday 10th September Curragh Racecourse 4.50pm

Curragh Champions Weekend card excels

The Curragh hosts the second half of Irish Champions Weekend on Sunday. The eight-race card is a cracker, with four Group 1s, the first of which is the Flying Five at 3.05. Havana Grey ran fifth in the Nunthorpe last time, with Take Cover sixth, Sioux Nation eighth and Battle Of Jericho tenth. All those three re-oppose. Take Cover has since made all to win the Listed Beverley Bullet. The 11-year-old was third in this in 2015 and the heart wants him to win what could be his final race. However, the head says Havana Grey.

The Curragh Juvenile Group 1s

The seven-furlong Moyglare Stud Stakes for two-year-old fillies follows at 3.40. Five of the first six home in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes take each other on again. Scitter Scatter impressed when winning that race but may have most to fear from the two British raiders, Mark Johnston’s Main Edition and Charlie Appleby’s Beyond Reason, who both bring winning Group race form. Beyond Reason has won two Group races at Deauville, while Main Edition won the Sweet Solera at Newmarket.

Aidan O’Brien trains four of the seven runners in the colts’ equivalent, the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at 4.15. Of these, Anthony Van Dyke beat Christmas by half a length in the Group 2 Futurity over course and distance but was probably value for more. Again though, Appleby has a strong contender in Quarto. He looked good when beating another O’Brien horse in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket’s July Meeting.

Irish St Leger the fourth Curragh Group 1

O’Brien runs three in the six-runner Irish St Leger at 4.50. Just a neck separated O’Brien’s Flag Of Honour from Jim Bolger’s Twilight Payment over course and distance last month. Idaho was third behind Stradivarius at Goodwood and York so will stay the trip but he’s hard to catch right. Irish Derby winner Latrobe made no show at York last time and skips Doncaster’s St Leger for this easier target. John Gosden runs Ebor runner-up Weekender. This race is hard to call. Frankie rides Weekender, which will help if turns into a tactical affair. However, O’Brien looks to have entered a pacemaker. Twilight Payment could well be the value bet.



About Chris Pitt

Chris Pitt is a racing historian and freelance journalist. He has written three books including 'A Long Time Gone', chronicling Britain's lost racecourses, and 'Go Down to the Beaten', stories of jockeys who didn't win the Grand National. He founded the Midlands Racing Club and was formerly racing correspondent for BBC Radio WM.

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