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Longines Irish Champions Weekend kicks off on Saturday, with eight high class races to bring you from Leopardstown.

Riding in six of those events is Group 1-winning jockey Chris Hayes, who has a chance of more glory with a number of the day’s mounts.

Chris spoke to Tote with his thoughts on all six of his rides, as well as telling us who he’s with in the feature of the day.

Lady Of Inishfree - 12:40 - Ingabelle Stakes (Listed Race) 

“She wasn’t beaten too far in what looks a decent maiden at Gowran Park. I was behind her that day on one of Fozzy Stack’s that just got beaten on his next run and I think that the general consensus on the day was that there were going to be plenty of winners from the race.

“She has a good draw and Noel [Meade] is very bullish about her chances of picking up a bit of Black Type so it’s nice to have one there that looks like she could be progressive.”

Floating Bridge - 13:40 - Matron Stakes (Group 1)

“She’s probably an outsider in the field, but was second to Joan Of Arc in the Guineas Trial and has been keeping good company. She wasn’t beaten that far in any of her starts after, beaten nine lengths at Royal Ascot and then five lengths behind Mehnah of Kevin Prendegast’s in Killarney. She’s been running to a good solid level but will have to step up massively.

“It looks like a very good renewal, we don;t have the best of draws, but if she can come back to that Guineas Trial form, we’d have a little each-way squeak at a big price.”

Njord - 14:10 -  Boomerang Mile (Group 2)

“He travelled quite well with me at Newbury, where we went a scorching hot pace.

“I was delighted to see that the moisture has got back into the ground and it’ll be on the kind side. It’s a competitive race, but it’s a hell of a spare for me to pick up and Mrs Harrington’s horses couldn't be in better form, so I’m in the right camp in my eyes.”

Hungerford Stakes

14:45 - Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1)

“I’ll be cheering on Tarnawa, she’s been very good to me. I won her maiden on her in Leopardstown, two Group 3s and a Group 2 on her. She always looked like she could progress to be a Group 1 filly, but has just improved out of all knowledge. I think she is the one they have to beat.

“She’s a hardened campaigner, has travelled the world and although it’s two furlongs shorter than her ideal trip, but I think she’s got enough pace for this. She’ll need to show that pace if the Arc is the long term plan.”

Questionare - 15:15 Paddy Power Stakes (Group 3)

“He obviously has to improve on anything we’ve seen. This trip should suit him better than the trips he has been running over and we’d be hoping we can pick up some sort of cheque with him. He’s a good solid horse, has Black Type, but probably lacks that little bit of class at this level.”

Layfayette - 15:45 - Pentingo Handicap

“He’s been very good to me this year. The Lenebane Stakes, I thought, was a cracking performance after running so well at Royal Ascot.

“This is a lot of weight for him to carry, but he’s carrying it for a reason, he’s one of the high class horses in the field.

“I’d put a line straight through his last run. Noel’s horses weren’t right, they had been running below par. Noel seems to have them all back, with a lot of them running well in recent weeks so I’d be very hopeful of his chances.

“He doesn’t have the best of draws but it’s a workable one. At this trip, he can jump out and slot into a nice position.

“He’s a stakes performer in handicap company. He runs off 100, which is 10lbs higher than when he won the Premier Handicap at the start of the year. He’s a high class horse and if he can come back to his second last and third last horse he’d be bang there. Take away his last run and he’d be near enough favourite.”

Layfayette Winner

Fools Rush In - 16:20 - Sovereign Path Handicap 

“The English have a good record in this; I won it a couple of years ago for Richard Fahey. The draw doesn’t look like it’s too much of a hindrance in 11, more or less in the middle of the field. 

“Again, this a lovely spare to pick up and even though he is off a career mark, he ticks a lot of the boxes and seems to have the right kind of profile coming into the handicap.”

You can bet on every race at Leopardstown at Tote, with all eight card part of our latest World Pool event.


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