|Returning champion Kyprios heads the five runners for the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, the final Classic of the season and one of four Group 1 races on the second day of Irish Champions Festival at the Curragh on Sunday.
Officially the world’s top stayer last year, Aidan O'Brien’s five-year-old is having his first start of 2023 and he will be joined in the race by his stable companion Emily Dickinson, successful in the Group 2 Comer Group International Curragh Cup over this course and distance in July.
Last year’s Doncaster St Leger winner Eldar Eldarov runs for Roger Varian while Joseph O'Brien and Jessica Harrington are represented by Dawn Rising and Yashin respectively.
Following her success in the race a year ago, John Quinn’s star sprinter Highfield Princess is another bidding for a repeat Irish Champions Festival success and she heads the 10 runners for the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes. Her Royal Ascot conqueror Bradsell, trained by Archie Watson, features among the opposition along with Tim Easterby’s four-time Curragh winner Art Power, Yann Barberot’s French raider Bouttemont and local hopes Ladies Church, from the Johnny Murtagh stable and Ken Condon’s Moss Tucker.
The O'Brien-trained City Of Troy goes up against Adrian Murray’s Bucanero Fuerte as he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the six-runner Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes. The latter, a four-length winner of the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last month, steps up to seven furlongs for the first time. Aidan O'Brien has also left in his dual course and distance winner Henry Longfellow and joining them are the Jessica Harrington-trained Givemethebeatboys, Joseph O'Brien’s Islandsinthestream and Cuban Thunder, a stable companion of Bucanero Fuerte.
Ylang Ylang, another of the Ballydoyle brigade, puts her own unbeaten record on the line as one of nine runners in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. In opposition is Donnacha O'Brien’s Royal Ascot winner and Keeneland Phoenix Stakes runner-up Porta Fortuna, the mount of Frankie Dettori, and the Group 2 Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes winner Vespertilio, supplemented for the race just three days ago trainer by Willie McCreery. Karl Burke’s impressive Newmarket Group 3 winner Fallen Angel and Dermot Weld’s Red Viburnum are two more notable contenders.
There are 11 runners in the Group 2 Moyglare “Jewels” Blandford Stakes with Joseph O'Brien’s Lumiere Rock, Aidan O'Brien’s Jackie Oh, Henry Candy’s improver Araminta, the Jessica Harrington-trained Trevaunance and last year’s narrow runner-up Insinuendo, trained by Willie McCreery, among the leading hopes.
York dead-heaters Summerghand and Albasheer, trained by O’Meara and Archie Watson respectively, are among the recent winners in the 25-runner line up for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Bold Lad’ Sprint Handicap while Dermot Weld’s Coeur D’Or, bidding for his third-straight win after victories at the Galway festival and at the Curragh last month, features among 23 declarations for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Northfields’ Handicap. The Ray Cody-trained Lady Lunette is chasing a hat-trick of her own after wins over eight furlongs at Gowran Park and the Curragh.
Heading the 12 runners for the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes is British-trained hopeful Native American, trained by Richard Fahey, and the Natalia Lupini-trained Nikki Swango.
Brian Kavanagh, CEO of The Curragh Racecourse, said: “After a mouth-watering day’s racing at Leopardstown on Saturday, the Curragh looks forward to taking up the baton for Irish Champions Festival with a day which features four consecutive Group 1 races of the highest quality. We are delighted with the runners and look forward to welcoming 18 British and French runners to take on the local challenge. With €2.6m in prizemoney up for grabs we are sure for some outstanding racing on a day which consistently delivers European and world champions across the various categories.”
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Notes to Editor (issued on behalf of the Curragh Racecourse)
Ground – Good, Good to Firm in places
Comer Group International Irish St. Leger betting -
Paddy Power: 5-4 Kyprios, 11-4 Emily Dickinson, Eldar Eldarov, 9 Yashin, 20 Dawn Rising.
-The Moyglare Kids Zone where they can enjoy an assortment of free activities
-Irish Champions Festival Style Awards in association with Weir & Sons, Kilkea Castle Hotel and Moet.
-Parade of Champions sponsored by Moyglare Stud in association with Treo Eile
-Star-studded line-up featuring dual Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll, multiple grade one winners Faugheen, Supasundae and Douvan, Exultant, a multiple Group 1 winning champion in Hong Kong, Melbourne Cup runner up Max Dynamite, 2012 Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond and Sizzing John, 2017 winner of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and recent racehorse to riding horse winner at the Dublin Horse Show.
-Music from the Newbridge Gospel Choir, the Artane Junior Band
Free Car Parking
Free Shuttle bus from Kildare Town, collecting at the Train Station and in the Square and from Newbridge, collecting from the Train Station and Main Street.
Where to watch and listen
Live coverage of 5 races on RTE
All races broadcast live on Racing TV
Live commentary on RTE 1 radio
Gates Open: 11am
Best value tickets available on curragh.ie
Under 18s go free accompanied by an adult
Returning champion Kyprios heads the five runners for the Comer Group International Irish St Leger, the final Classic of the season and one of four Group 1 races on the second day of Irish Champions Festival at the Curragh on Sunday.