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Winter and Churchill headline Champions

 Sep 7 2017

Live on Sky Racing 1, Ballydoyle hold the aces on the first day of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend with Winter now avoiding a clash with stablemate Churchill and instead take on her own sex in the G1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes, where she will clash with other notable stablemates Roly Poly and Rhododendron.

Winter will be very hard to beat after a superb three-year-old campaign that has seen dominant wins in four Group 1’s; the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, the Irish 1000 Guineas, the Coronation Stakes and the Nassau Stakes.

It’s been plain sailing for the daughter of Galileo who has simply been in a different league, however the same can’t be said for Churchill, who like Winter is a dual Guineas winner this campaign.

A run of seven straight wins, including four Group 1’s abruptly came to an end when he finished a laboured fourth in the St James’s Palace Stakes. Although the winner Barney Roy had every right to improve past him, that was clearly not Churchill’s level of form and he duly bounced back with a fine second to Ulysses in the G1 Juddmonte International Stakes at York.

Cliffs Of Moher, who was fourth at York, will line up alongside his stablemate once again, however the main danger may come from the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Poet’s Word.
The improving four-year-old takes a big step up in class but it is interesting that Stoute (who also trains Ulysses) has chosen to come to Ireland instead of what would have been a far easier task in the Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton.

Catch the first day of the Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Sky Racing 1 on Saturday night.

Richard Wade - Sky Racing






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