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Leopardstown Tips - Irish Champions Weekend Day One Tips

  • Tips and predictions for day one of Irish Champions Weekend
  • The first day of racing takes place at Leopardstown on Saturday 11th September
  • We've covered the five Group races on Saturday's card at Leopardstown
  • Absolute Ruler, Epona Plays and Earlswood feature amongst our tips
leopardstown stakes
Leopardstown races. (Getty)

Irish Champions Weekend opens with a bang at Leopardstown on Saturday. The Irish Champion Stakes and Matron Stakes are the two Group Ones on the card. Viewers also have four further pattern races and a couple of lucrative handicaps to look forward to as well.

We've take a look through the card on day one of Irish Champions Weekend and picked out five horses to back.
    Table Of Contents
  • 2021 Irish Champions Weekend Day One Card
  • 2021 Irish Champions Weekend Day One Tips
  • Race 2 - Champions Juvenile Stakes Tips
  • Race 3 - Matron Stakes Tips
  • Race 4 - Boomerang Mile Tips
  • Race 5 - Irish Champion Stakes Tips
  • Race 6 - Paddy Power Stakes Tips

2021 Irish Champions Weekend Day One Card

12:40pm Leopardstown Ingabelle Stakes (Listed) 7f
1:10pm Leopardstown Champions Juvenile Stakes (Group 2) 1m
1:40pm Leopardstown Matron Stakes (Group 1) 1m
2:10pm Leopardstown Boomerang Stakes (Group 2) 1m
2:45pm Leopardstown QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f
3:15pm Leopardstown Paddy Power Stakes (Group 3) 1m4f
3:45pm Leopardstown Petingo Handicap (Premier Handicap) 1m5f
4:20pm Leopardstown Sovereign Path Handicap (Premier Handicap) 7f

2021 Irish Champions Weekend Day One Tips

Race 2 - Champions Juvenile Stakes Tips

Victory for Maritime Wings here would considerably boost Point Lonsdale's form, and his price to win Sunday's National Stakes would be slashed even further. While it's hard to knock what Maritime Wings has produced thus far, I'd rather side with ABSOLUTE RULER.

Donnacha O'Brien's colt made a winning debut at Dundalk last month, striding clear of Amortentia and odds-on favourite Moony Beams to win in convincing fashion. By War Front and out of Ballydoyle's 2014 Fillies' Mile winner Together Forever, Absolute Ruler is bred to reach a high level and this doesn't look the deepest of races.

Race 3 - Matron Stakes Tips

Mother Earth is clearly the best filly in this race and she deserves to be such a strong favourite. However, there's a gap in the betting behind the leader that's waiting to be exploited, so I'm going to back EPONA PLAYS each-way.

Willie McCreedy's filly made a winning four-year-old reappearance in the Park Express Stakes at Naas, before trouncing Champers Elysees and some other good rivals in the Group Two Lanwades Stud Stakes.

Epona Plays then stepped up to ten furlongs for the Pretty Polly Stakes and Billy Lee was the last jockey to make their move. Although she did fade from the front as Thundering Nights and Santa Barbara came flying past, Epona Plays did well to hang on for fifth.

Her record over a mile is much better than ten, and the way she travelled in the Pretty Polly tells me she remains at the top of her form. This has been the plan since that day, and I fancy Epona Plays will run a big race.

Race 4 - Boomerang Mile Tips

Mac Swiney has only raced over a mile twice in his career, landing Group One prizes on both occasions. Jim Bolger's charge drops back to a mile after decent efforts in the Derby and Juddmonte International, but he does love bottomless ground and I'm not sure it'll ease enough for Mac Swiney to be at his best.

I'm going to have a small punt on FEV ROVER, who was my selection when she finished third in the 1000 Guineas earlier in the season. Since then, Richard Fahey's filly endured a bumpy run when tenth in the Irish 1000 Guineas, and simply never got involved in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Although she's eligible for the Matron, Fahey has decided this is a much more winnable race, and if Fev Rover can return to top form, then there's no reason why she can't lay down a challenge.

Race 5 - Irish Champion Stakes Tips

Read our full preview of the 2021 Irish Champion Stakes to find out who we're backing in Saturday's feature at Leopardstown.

If you plan on watching any of the Irish Champions Weekend races live on your mobile or tablet, then check out our Irish Champion Stakes Live Stream page.

Race 6 - Paddy Power Stakes Tips

Earlswood3:15pm Leopardstown Paddy Power Stakes (Group 3) 1m4fGET 9/4 HERE
New customers only. 18+ T&Cs and wagering requirements apply.

I'm struggling to see beyond EARLSWOOD, who's enjoyed a consistent three-year-old season. Johnny Murtagh's charge has won three of his five starts, finishing third in the Dee Stakes at Chester and fourth in the Irish Derby.

Last time out, Earlswood powered home to win the Royal Whip Stakes in good style. Although he showed a good turn of foot that day, he's bred to be much more of a stayer, so stepping back up to 12 furlongs should definitely suit.


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