Irish Champions Curragh Day Two Preview 2023

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 12:50
Adam Caffrey

Laugh A Minute

J: Adam Caffrey
T: Adrian McGuinness
Age: 8
Weight: 8-12
OR: 89
Days: 35

The first event on day two of Irish Champions Weekend from the Curragh is the big fielded "Bold Lad" Sprint Handicap over 6f and we have fired two bullets.

The first selection is the Adrian McGuinness trained Laugh A Minute who might now be an eight year old but has some serious experiences in races like this.

Since 2020 the gelding has ran in this race off much higher marks putting in superb performances to finish fourth on two occasions and sixth in another, with all of his runs seeing him hit the frame.

Having been running well of late putting up two superb thirds at the Curragh and Galway in big fielded sprinting events off marks of 91 and 92, he now drops to a mark of 89 and if running to the same level that should see him in the frame once more.

He handles anything from quick to soft ground and featuring in these events for the majority of his career, espeically at the Curragh, he makes big claims to go close again.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 12:50
W J Lee


J: W J Lee
T: Miss Natalia Lupini
Age: 5
Weight: 9-1
OR: 92
Days: 26

At a similar price in the betting the Natalia Lupini trained Dandyville should not be far away having a similar profile to Laugh A Minute in these events.

A winner at the back end of last season at Dundalk over 6f off a mark of 73, he can back this term in the same form making it back to back wins at Naas over 6f off a mark of 80.

Upped 10lb to todays mark, the rise took him by surprise and he put in a lesser performance but bounced back to form next time out at the Curragh over the same C&D to finish a nose second to Coumshinguan.

Last seen back up to a mark of 90 at Dundalk and he went down to Hispanic for Aidan O'Brien by a nose putting up another solid run and off the same mark for this event, back over a C&D he handles well he is worth watching.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 13:25
Dylan Browne McMonagle

Lumiere Rock

J: Dylan Browne McMonagle
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 105
Days: 21

The first Group race of the afternoon at the Curragh is the Group Two Blanford Stakes over 1m2f and Lumiere Rock for Joseph O'Brien looks overpriced.

A smart juvenile rounding out last term over a mile in the Group Three Staffordstown Stud Stakes when winning comfortably, she stepped up to 1m2f on debut this term and might just have needed the run back in fourth behind Village Voice in the Listed Salsabil Stakes.

Since then she has been in red hot form finishing 1/2 a length back in second to Caroline Street in the Group Three Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.

Putting up her best performance of the season at Royal Ascot next time out in the Group Two Ribblesdale Stakes over 1m4f when chasing home Group One Yorkshire Oaks winner Warm Heart into second, seeing off some smart rivals in the 17 runner field including Bluestocking who was second in the Irish Oaks.

Kept at 1m4f she ran another nice race to finish a fair fourth in that same Irish Oaks behind Savethelastdance and then last time out stepped down to todays trip of 1m2f she finished a head second to the talented french filly Jannah Rose in the Group Two Prix Alex Head.

Should go close off the back of those runs.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 13:55
Jason Hart

Highfield Princess

J: Jason Hart
T: John Quinn
Age: 6
Weight: 9-3
OR: 117
Days: 16

One of our best bets comes in the Group One Flying Five Stakes with the maestro Highfield Princess looking to land back to back renewals of this race.

The six year old has been a superstar for her connections throughout the last few years starting off by winning a handicap off a mark of 58 and she is now rated 117.

Last season she took her form in the sprinting division to a new level winning the Group Two Duke Of York Clipper Stakes and then heading to Royal Ascot and finishing a credible sixth of 24 in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes.

Off the back of that run she went on to win a hat-trick of Group One races, firstly in France when taking the Prix Maurice De Gheest on good to soft ground and then in August on much quicker ground went on to bolt up in the Nunthorpe Stakes off top weight.

Her final win of the season came at the Curragh when again bolting up in this event and that set up a trip to America for the Breeders' Cup.

Finishing off her season at Keeneland in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint she was a very good fourth behind the likes of Caravel, Emaraaty Ana and Creative Force.

Returning this season as a six year old trainer John Quinn was unsure if she will train on at her age, but she put up a superb performance in the Group Two Duke Of York Clipper Stakes to finish 1/2 a length second to Azure Blue giving her 5lb.

That set her up perfectly for her next run in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot where she was only beaten by a length from Bradsell who was getting 3lb.

Connections decided to turn her out later in the week at the same Royal Ascot meeting and once again she ran another superb race to finish a close up third of 16 in the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes.

Dropped into a much easier event at Glorious Goodwood in the Group Two King George Qatar Stakes, she made a mockery of the field to bolt up by three lengths.

Last seen trying to defend her title in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes she succumbed to the shock winner from the front Live In The Dream, but ran a credible race being best of the rest in second.

She has not run a bad race all season and is the one to beat back here.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 14:25
Ryan Moore

Ylang Ylang

J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-2
OR: 106
Days: 45

The second Group One event of the afternoon is the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes for Fillies over 7f and Ylang Ylang could be the next big thing in this division for Aidan O'Brien.

Costing a mammouth 1.5 million Guineas as a yearling she was destined to be special having a superb pedigree being a daughter of Frankel.

Seen just the twice to date when making her debut over C&D at the Curragh and bolting up on debut by just under three lengths, she then made it 2/2 when last seen at Leopardstown when going off a 1/4 shot and easily landing the Group Three Flash Stakes over the same trip.

The world is her oyster and set to improve again she will take all the beating.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 15:00
Ryan Moore

City Of Troy

J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 118
Days: 57

One of the races of the afternoon is the six runner Group One Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes over 7f for the colts and City Of Troy has been a superstar in his two runs to date.

Making a superb debut in May over C&D when bolting up by over two lengths, he was then supplemented for the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket and putting up one of the juvenile performances of the season he went on to score by 6.5 lengths.

Seeing off some nice types that day including Group Two Vintage Stakes winner Haatem, his sectionals were a thing of beauty and although stablemate Henry Longfellow also looks an exceptional type, he is the choice of Ryan Moore and has a big chance to make it three wins on the bounce and land his first Group One event.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 15:35
Ryan Moore


J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 5
Weight: 9-11
OR: 122
Days: 344

The final Group One event of the Irish Champions Weekend is the Irish St Leger and making his long awaited return, hopefully Kyprios is bang up for this.

Running twice as a juvenile winning on debut over 1m 1/2f at Galway, he then went to Newmarket in the 1m2f Zetland Stakes and found it tough on just his second start.

Only ran twice as a three year old, he again won on seasonal debut at Cork and was then sent to Lingfield in the Listed Derby Trial at Lingfield where he didn't handle the very soft ground conditions.

Last season he came into his own as a four year old winning both his starts this term, starting over 1m6f in the Listed Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan.

Improving again for that run he went to Leopardstown and took the Group Three Levmoss Stakes by 14 lengths, to really put himself in the mix for the Gold Cup.

Since then he has extended his unbeaten record to five races, landing a hat-trick of Group One events, starting with the Group One at Royal Ascot, then the Goodwood Cup at Glorious Goodwood and then next time out on Irish Champions Weekend when landing this Group One.

Finishing out last term in the Group One Prix Du Cadran he rounded out the season in style when bolting up by 20 lengths to make it six wins during the season and finishing the term unbeatem.

Picking up a setback ahead of this term, O'Brien has take his time with him and he now returns in this race he won last year and if anywhere near last year's form he won't be beat.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 16:10
Colin Keane

Native American

J: Colin Keane
T: Richard Fahey
Age: 2
Weight: 9-7
Days: 106

The penultimate event of the afternoon from the Curragh is the Tattersalls Ireland Auction Sale Stakes and Native American for Richard Fahey is the stand out runner in this race.

A €75,000 purchase by Wathnan Racing being a son of Sioux Nation he made a very taking debut back in May at York when bolting up in a Maiden over 6f.

Not seen since then he heads here with a huge chance if being able to build on that form and with it looking a fairly weak race he should be able to give weight away all round.

Curragh - September 09 2023
Curragh 16:45
Ben Coen

Take Heart

J: Ben Coen
T: J P Murtagh
Age: 3
Weight: 8-12
OR: 90
Days: 14

The final event of the afternoon in Ireland sees the 1m2f "Northfields" Handicap and Take Heart for Johnny Murtagh looks to be one of his best chances across the two days.

Seen four times to date making his debut this term at Dundalk in February when a good third behind the likes of Cash Out and Miami Thunder over a mile.

Getting off the mark at the second time of asking over the same C&D as his debut run he was a very impressive winner, improving from his debut run to scoot up by 2.5 lengths.

Given his handicap debut off a mark of 80 on his first try at 1m2f over this C&D he was a smart second less than a length behind the winner.

Being upped 4lbs for that run he got back to winning ways last time out at Naas in taking style and only up 6lbs for that win still leaves him on a feasible mark.