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Irish Champion Stakes

Ireland | FEATURE RACE GUIDE

History

AUGUSTE RODIN winning the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1)
AUGUSTE RODIN winning the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) Picture: Healy Racing

The Irish Champion Stakes is a Group 1 race run under Weight For Age conditions for open class horses at Leopardstown conducted by the Leopardstown Racecourse for Horse Racing Ireland.

The Irish Champion Stakes is run over the mile and a quarter. It was first run in 1976 and was won by Malacate.

This was originally known as the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes after the founder of the Irish Hospitals' Sweepstakes.

After being moved in 1984 to Phoenix Park and renamed the Phoenix Champion Stakes, it came back to Leopardstown in 1991.

The race forms part of Irish Champions weekend and is one of the richest races in Europe.

It is a great guide to other feature events on the Arc program and the British Champions day too. It even provides form for Breeders' Cup weekend.

One of the superb clashes was Fantastic Light and Galileo, singling out and going nose for nose for 2001.

Golden Horn won in good fashion in 2015 before taking the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at his next run. The great Sea The Stars did a similar thing in 2009.

So You Think was tough in beating Snow Fairy in 2011 and then she would get her just desserts a year on.

Fantastic 3yo Roaring Lion was in the middle of a great 2018 season, winning his third open age G1 in a row at the mile and a quarter. He would end up with another win in the QEII Stakes and retired to stud but sadly developed colic and died in New Zealand.

It was only a four horse field in 2021 but it was a brilliant race with three G1 winners St Mark's Basilica, Tarnawa and Poetic Flare going over the line by under a length. Aidan O'Brien's colt was retired straight after the race.

Magical joined Dylan Thomas in 2020 as the only multiple winners of this race.

Derby winner Auguste Rodin had a habit of running some brilliant and then strange races. He did that in the 2000 Guineas only to go on to win the Derby and then after being 126L last in the King George, won the Irish Champion in 2023.

In the last decade, seven 3yos have saluted.

Michael Kinane has ridden the winner on seven occasions while Aidan O'Brien has scored with 12 winners as trainer including the last 5.

The Irish Champion Stakes was worth €1,250,000 in 2023.

Notable winners of the Irish Champion Stakes include Auguste Rodin (2023), Luxembourg (2022), St Mark's Basilica (2021), Magical (2019/2020), Roaring Lion (2018), Almanzor (2016), Golden Horn (2015), The Fugue (2013), Snow Fairy (2012), So You Think (2011), Sea The Stars (2009), New Approach (2008), Dylan Thomas (2006/2007), Azamour (2004), High Chaparral (2003), Grandera (2002), Fantastic Light (2001), Giant's Causeway (2000), Daylami (1999), Pilsudksi (1997), Pentire (1995), Dr Devious (1992), Suave Dancer (1991), Carroll House (1989), Triptych (1987) and Sadler's Wells (1984).

The 2023 Irish Champion Stakes was won by Auguste Rodin from Luxembourg and Nashwa.


Racing and Sports

Previous Irish Champion Stakes Winners

Date Horse Jockey WT Trainer BP
AUGUSTE RODIN (IRE) 3C
DEEP IMPACT (JPN) - RHODODENDRON (IRE) GALILEO (IRE)
RYAN MOORE 58.5 A P O'BRIEN 2
LUXEMBOURG (IRE) 3C
CAMELOT (GB) - ATTIRE (IRE) DANEHILL DANCER (IRE)
RYAN MOORE 58.5 A P O'BRIEN 6
ST MARK'S BASILICA (FR) 3C
SIYOUNI (FR) - CABARET (IRE) GALILEO (IRE)
RYAN MOORE 58.5 A P O'BRIEN 4
MAGICAL (IRE) 5M
GALILEO (IRE) - HALFWAY TO HEAVEN (IRE) PIVOTAL (GB)
SEAMIE HEFFERNAN 60.0 A P O'BRIEN 5
MAGICAL (IRE) 4F
GALILEO (IRE) - HALFWAY TO HEAVEN (IRE) PIVOTAL (GB)
RYAN MOORE 59.0 A P O'BRIEN 3
ROARING LION (USA) 3C
KITTEN'S JOY (USA) - VIONNET (USA) STREET SENSE (USA)
OISIN MURPHY 57.5 JOHN GOSDEN 8
DECORATED KNIGHT (GB) 5H
GALILEO (IRE) - PEARLING (USA) STORM CAT (USA)
ANDREA ATZENI 60.5 R CHARLTON 10
ALMANZOR (FR) 3C
WOOTTON BASSETT (GB) - DARKOVA (USA) MARIA'S MON (USA)
C SOUMILLON 57.0 J-C ROUGET 10
GOLDEN HORN (GB) 3C
CAPE CROSS (IRE) - FLECHE D'OR (GB) DUBAI DESTINATION (USA)
LANFRANCO DETTORI 57.0 JOHN GOSDEN 1
THE GREY GATSBY (IRE) 3C
MASTERCRAFTSMAN (IRE) - MARIE VISON (IRE) ENTREPRENEUR (GB)
RYAN MOORE 57.0 K A RYAN 2
THE FUGUE (GB) 4M
DANSILI (GB) - TWYLA THARP (IRE) SADLER'S WELLS (USA)
WILLIAM BUICK 59.0 JOHN GOSDEN 8
SNOW FAIRY (IRE) 5M
INTIKHAB (USA) - WOODLAND DREAM (IRE) CHARNWOOD FOREST (IRE)
LANFRANCO DETTORI 59.0 ED DUNLOP 3
SO YOU THINK (NZ) 5H
HIGH CHAPARRAL (IRE) - TRIASSIC (NZ) TIGHTS (USA)
SEAMIE HEFFERNAN 60.5 A P O'BRIEN 3
CAPE BLANCO (IRE) 3C
GALILEO (IRE) - LAUREL DELIGHT (GB) PRESIDIUM (GB)
SEAMIE HEFFERNAN 57.0 A P O'BRIEN 1
SEA THE STARS (IRE) 3C
CAPE CROSS (IRE) - URBAN SEA (USA) MISWAKI (USA)
M KINANE 57.5 JOHN M OXX 2
NEW APPROACH (IRE) 3C
GALILEO (IRE) - PARK EXPRESS (GB) AHONOORA (GB)
K J MANNING 57.5 J S BOLGER 5
DYLAN THOMAS (IRE) 4M
DANEHILL (USA) - LAGRION (USA) DIESIS (GB)
K FALLON 60.5 A P O'BRIEN 5
DYLAN THOMAS (IRE) 3F
DANEHILL (USA) - LAGRION (USA) DIESIS (GB)
K FALLON 57.5 A P O'BRIEN 2
ORATORIO (IRE) 3C
DANEHILL (USA) - MAHRAH (USA) VAGUELY NOBLE (GB)
K FALLON 56.0 A P O'BRIEN 8
AZAMOUR (IRE) 3C
NIGHT SHIFT (USA) - ASMARA (USA) LEAR FAN (USA)
M KINANE 56.0 JOHN M OXX 8
FANTASTIC LIGHT (USA) 5H
RAHY (USA) - JOOD (USA) NIJINSKY (CAN)
LANFRANCO DETTORI 59.0 SAEED BIN SUROOR 2
GIANT'S CAUSEWAY (USA) 3C
STORM CAT (USA) - MARIAH'S STORM (USA) RAHY (USA)
M KINANE 56.0 A P O'BRIEN 7

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