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"He'll do well at a track like Leopardstown" - Vadeni ready for Irish Champion Stakes

02 Sep 2022
jon-vine
Jon Vine 02 Sep 2022
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  • Key quotes from Vadeni's jockey Christophe Soumillon
  • Vadeni has won the Prix du Jockey Club and the Coral-Eclipse this season
  • Jean-Claude Rouget's star is the 6/4 favourite for the Irish Champion Stakes
  • Soumillon is confident his mount will enjoy the challenge at Leopardstown
vadeni
Christophe Soumillon riding Vadeni (green) win The Coral-Eclipse at Sandown Park. (Getty)

Impressive Coral-Eclipse Stakes winner, Vadeni will make his Irish debut in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown next Saturday.

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Jean-Claude Rouget's star went into Sandown on the back of a runaway success in the Prix du Jockey Club. Christophe Soumillon gave the favourite a cool ride at Sandown, holding off the charging Mishriff in the closing stages to win his second Group One on the bounce.

"To me, what Vadeni did at Sandown was amazing." Soumillon said to the Racing Post on Friday. "It's probably one of the UK's toughest tracks and beating so many great horses with a lot of experience – with a pace that wasn't crazy – it was something great. When you have a great horse, everything is possible."

Rouget has now pointed his stable star at the Irish Champion Stakes, a race he won with Almanzor in 2016, and Soumillon went on to say that Vadeni's prep for Leopardstown has gone smoothly.

"He had a small break for a month and a half. Jean-Claude (Rouget) will have given him a chance to grow up a bit and take a bit of muscle. I'm sure he's going to change physically a little. Hopefully, he'll have the same ability to quicken."

"It's always easier when you have a horse like him with a great turn of foot, but also when they relax. Especially when racing overseas in the best races. The way he did it at Sandown indicated to me he'll be able to do well at a track like Leopardstown."

Almanzor swooped home to beat two top-class Ballydoyle runners in Found and Minding back in 2016. Rouget's legend would go on to beat Found again in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe and Soumillon sees similarities between Vadeni and his former stablemate.

"Vadeni and Almanzor are quite similar," Soumillon continued.

"In their races, they can be a little keen and they needed a few races to settle in order to help them in the closing stages. Almanzor was probably a bit quicker than Vadeni in the beginning of his races, and when you asked him to quicken he was more on the bit, but both have great acceleration."

Paddy Power make Vadeni their 6/4 favourite for the 2022 Irish Champion Stakes, ahead of Mishriff at 4/1. Aidan O'Brien will be represented by Luxembourg, with Native Trail and Bay Bridge likely to make the trip over from England for day one of Irish Champions Weekend.

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