Irish Champion Stakes: Adrian Wall’s runner-by-runner guide and the verdict

Leopardstown Racecourse will host the feature Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday afternoon and what an absolute belter of a race it looks on paper! Adrian Wall gives his thoughts on each and every runner in the race, which is live on ITV Racing.

Money back as a bonus up to £40
Money back as a bonus up to £40
New customers only. T&Cs apply. 18+. begambleaware.org #ad
unibet
Money back as a bonus up to £40
18+ begambleaware.org. New customer only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first racing bet loses. Wagering requirements: all sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the racing bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. T&Cs apply

1. Alflaila
Jockey: Jim Crowley
Trainer: Owen Burrows

Hold-up runner who won the Group 3 Strensall Stakes at York before going on to land the Darley Stakes at Newmarket. Came back from a break to win a Group 2 at York six weeks ago but he might come up short in this.


2. Luxembourg
Jockey: Seamie Heffernan
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Won the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh this term, with a gutsy win from the front. Hasn’t hit those heights in two starts since, but he has solid course and distance form having won this race last year. Definite place contender.


3. Onesto
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Trainer: Fabrice Chappet

Won the Grand Prix de Paris at Longchamp last year before finishing second to Luxembourg in this race last year. The son of Frankel needed the run when fourth on his return in the Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville and Dettori is a significant booking. Respected.


4. Point Lonsdale
Jockey: Dylan Browne McMonagle
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Very classy horse on his day and still has low miles on the clock for his age. He won over this trip in the Alleged Stakes at the Curragh and followed up in the Huxley Stakes at Chester. However, he has been used as a pacemaker since in the King George and it’s likely that’s the only reason he is in this race, but you wouldn’t want to give him a very soft lead.


5. Nashwa
Jockey: Hollie Doyle
Trainer: John & Thady Gosden

Excellent record against her own sex, winning a third Group 1 in the Falmouth at Newmarket in style. Ran a brilliant second when taking on the boys for first time in the Juddmonte at York, but she is no wins from her last six over this sort of trip and I would be against her for win purposes.


6. Al Riffa
Jockey: Cristophe Soumillon
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

Really highly regarded horse who won the National Stakes at the Curragh on his last start as a juvenile. He finished second to Ace Impact in the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano at Deauville which is really strong form, but he still has a bit to prove at this level.


7. Auguste Rodin
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

A bit of a law to himself this horse who has two ways of running, beaten out of sight when favourite for the 2000 Guineas and beaten out of sight again in the King George at Ascot last time. However, when he is right he is majestic, proven when reeling in King Of Steel in the Derby at Epsom before winning the Irish equivalent. If he can bounce back, I think he wins this.


8. King Of Steel
Jockey: Kevin Stott
Trainer: Roger Varian

Ran a huge race at a huge price in the Derby when finding only Auguste Rodin too good on the day, but was a comfortable winner of a Group 2 at Royal Ascot since. He possibly is going to need this trip to be seen to best effect at this level, but I think he might bump into one again.


9. Sprewell
Jockey: Shane Foley
Trainer: Jessica Harrington

Won a Derby Trial over this course and distance and went into the race at Epsom with high expectations but didn’t excite too much when fourth to Auguste Rodin. In saying that, he was hampered but he’s probably not good enough to win this and all his best form is on soft ground.


Verdict

This is a very tricky renewal and it’s going to take a hell of a performance to win the race, but Aidan O’Brien has a stranglehold on the race, winning it the last four years on the bounce. He holds all the aces with Auguste Rodin, who should prove too strong for his rivals if he can leave a poor run behind him.


If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.

Money back as a bonus up to £40
Money back as a bonus up to £40
New customers only. T&Cs apply. 18+. begambleaware.org #ad
unibet
Money back as a bonus up to £40
18+ begambleaware.org. New customer only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first racing bet loses. Wagering requirements: all sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the racing bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. T&Cs apply

Know All The Angles

Please Gamble Responsibly