Longines Irish Champions Weekend Preview and Betting Tips

Longines Irish Champions Weekend Preview and Betting Tips
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Leopardstown’s Longines Irish Champions Weekend meeting is one of the highlights of the Irish Flat-racing season. 

The 2022 edition of this prestigious event promises to be right up there with the very best and, of course, bookmakers have plenty of free bets available throughout the weekend.

The meeting is split between Leopardstown (Saturday) and the recently redeveloped Curragh (Sunday), with total prize money of €3.9m.

The feature Irish Champion Stakes, which takes place on Saturday, is one of SIX Group 1 contests over the two days and is the blue-riband contest of the entire meeting.

Betting for the €1m ten-furlong showpiece is headed by crack French three-year-old colt Vadeni who is bidding to follow up his narrow success in the Coral-Eclipse stakes at Sandown.

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The meeting also features the final Classic of the Irish Flat season with 12 horses set to go to post for Sunday's Comer Group International Irish St. Leger. Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup winner Kyprios is a very warm order to continue his winning run for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

It’s two top-class days of thoroughbred action and the RTÉ cameras are there to cover the feature races on both days, the first of which is a designated Tote World Pool day, which means punters can bet into the biggest pool on the planet - giving them the chance to win big for just small stakes.

We’ve picked out the best five bets over the two days.

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Saturday 1.30pm Leopardstown - Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle Stakes (Listed Race)

This has been a tricky race for punters and betting sites in recent years but there was so much to like about the way Sheyya went through her debut over the course and distance earlier this summer and she’s surely going to be in the shake-up here if building on that.

The Johnny Murtagh-trained daughter of Starspangledbanner travelled smoothly through that seven furlong contest before picking up smartly once shaken up well over a furlong out by Ben Coen. 

The runner-up has gone in since to give the form some substance and her trainer has described her as ‘exciting’ so providing she’s ready to rumble after 100 days off the track, she looks a filly to keep on the right side of.

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Saturday 4.20pm Leopardstown - Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile (Group 2)

This looks an ideal spot for Goodwood Group 2 winner Jadoomi but he might just find the concession of 5lb to improving filly Boundless Ocean too stiff a task.

The selection comes into this on the back of a career-best effort in winning the Group 3 Bahrain Turf Club Desmond Stakes over this course and distance, that form was given a nice boost when third-placed Charterhouse won a strong Listed race next time out.

Boundless Ocean’s versatility also makes him appealing because he’s a colt that can make his own running if there is no pace in the race, as he did last time, or sit in behind if there is no problem with the race tempo. 

Easy ground suits and Boundless Ocean could easily still have an even better effort in him, which would make him tough to beat in this company.

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Saturday 4.55pm Leopardstown - Coolmore America "Justify" Matron Stakes (Group 1)

Homeless Songs will be a popular choice having sluiced up in the Irish 1,000 Guineas but she hasn't been seen since and will need to be at the very top of her game on return if she is to get the better of in-form older filly Saffron Beach.

Jane Chapple-Hyam’s stable star comes into this at the peak of her powers having readily seen off a strong field in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville last month. 

The likes of Tenebrism and Pearls Galore, who were behind that day, have a big job on to reverse that form, especially as Saffron Beach is going to relish the likely easy conditions at Leopardstown. 

This two-time Group 1 winner is going to take a serious amount of catching and Homeless Songs will need to be right out of the top drawer to beat her, even in receipt of 5lb.

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Sunday 1.50pm Curragh - Moyglare ''Jewels'' Blandford Stakes (Group 2) 

La Petite Coco (nap), winner of the Moyglare ''Jewels'' Blandford Stakes last year, rates one of the best bets of the weekend to repeat the trick at 5/2 with betting apps.

Paddy Twomey’s brilliant filly only got up to deny Love in the final strides last season but she has since gone on to post two even bigger performances, not least in winning the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes over the same course and distance in June.

All ground seems to come alike to the daughter of Rule Of The World so conditions won’t be an issue, this will have likely been her big target all along and there is nothing in opposition this time of the calibre of last year’s runner-up, Love.

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Sunday 2.25pm Curragh - Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes (Group 1) 

If Highfield Princess takes up this engagement then the impressive Nunthorpe winner will rightly be a warm order but either way, there are a few tempting each-way options in what looks sure to be a big field.

Mooniesta runs the track well but not quite as well as A Case Of You who hasn’t been out of the frame in four visits to the Curragh, which makes him an appealing each-way bet at 10/1 with horse racing betting sites.

Rattling fast ground at Royal Ascot wouldn’t have suited this son of Hot Streak so that down-the-field effort can be forgiven and he was conceding weight to all of his rivals when third in the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes here in May.

We know A Case Of You has the ability to strike at the top table because he won the Al Quoz Sprint in Dubai earlier this year and he will relish any ease in the Curragh turf come Sunday. 

Expect the Ado McGuinness-trained colt to bounce back from that Ascot run under these much more suitable conditions.