What We Learned From The Weekend - 17/09/2018

What We Learned From The Weekend

It was billed to be the weekend of weekends. It delivered.

Very rarely are racing fans treated to the final classic of the season, six group ones and a whole host of superstars in action. But the annual bonanza that is Irish champions weekend and the St Leger has come and gone in a flash.

The weekend crowned the very kings of the crop, and here is what we’ve learnt from all of the action that unfolded in front of us.


They say the best things come to those who wait, Qatar Racing, John Gosden and Oisin Murphy are definitely reaping the rewards now as Roaring Lion added another group one to his star-studded CV.

After victories in the Eclipse and International Stakes, the three-year-old was hot favourite to bag the Irish Champion Stakes for the British raiders and duly delivered…just. Everything went against Roaring Lion, he travelled over, he had to race wide, yet he still got the job done, nabbing the admirable Saxon Warrior on the line to make it three group one wins in a row.

Very rarely does a horse who was comprehensively beaten in a group three at the start of the season turn out to be a champion, but Roaring Lion keeps defying the odds in what has turned out to be a stellar season.


The summer blip for team Ballydoyle is well and truly over. The maestro is back and better than ever.

Its two more classics in the bag for Aidan O’brien courtesy of St Leger winner Kew Gardens and Flag of Honour, who landed the Irish equivalent. It hasn’t been the season that was anticipated by team Coolmore, but they’re firmly on the right track ahead of the big final season targets with two very useful stayers.

Both horses won with authoritative ease, can one of them put it up to Stradivarius in the staying division? We will find out in just half a year’s time…


This time of the year we normally find out who the champion juvenile is going to be. It cannot be said for this year’s crop however, as two more high-class two-year-olds served up imperious performances to throw their name into the hat for champion honours.

Too Darn Hot oozed class when romping to victory in the Champagne Stakes, while Quorto back up an impressive win in the Superlative Stakes with another fine display, this time at the highest level in the National Stakes.

Both horses will now be targeted for the first classic of the season in May now, and with the likes of the sidelined Calyx and Advertise put in the mix, the 2000 Guineas could be a race for the ages. Let’s hope they all make it to the Rowley Mile fit and fighting.