Irish Champions Weekend tips: Minding and Qemah to shine at Leopardstown
David Metcalf | September 9, 2016
Superstar filly Minding to shine again in Irish Champion Stakes
Minding can confirm herself one of the best fillies seen for a long time by landing the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes on a stellar eight-race card at Leopardstown this Saturday (18:45).
Trained in Ireland by the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien, Minding has won seven of her 10 career starts and already has six Group 1 successes under her belt.
They include Classic triumphs this year in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Investec Oaks at Epsom.
Minding was also sensational when landing the Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh by 4 1/2 lengths, then scoring with more in hand than the winning margin suggest last time out at Goodwood in the Nassau Stakes when beating Queen’s Trust by 1 1/4 lengths.
Acid test against Derby winners
Connections have since given her a break to freshen up, so Minding now takes on the colts for the first time.
They include English and Irish Derby hero Harzand and French Derby winner Alamanzour, making this undoubtedly her toughest task to date.
However, the beautifully bred daughter of Galileo receives a handy 3lb sex allowance. Minding should make the most of it to come through this test with flying colours.
Macarthur can continue O’Brien monopoly in Champion Juvenile Stakes
Douglas Macarthur heads the ante post betting for next year’s Investec Derby and can provide trainer Aidan O’Brien with a seventh straight success in the Group 3 Champions Juvenile Stakes (16:00).
The colt flopped when last on his debut, but showed the benefit of that run when forging clear to score by five lengths over course and distance.
Douglas Macarthur won the race with real authority and is currently 16/1 joint-favourite with Coral for Classic glory at Epsom in 2017.
O’Brien saddled subsequent Derby winner Australia to win this in 2013 and it will be a major surprise if Douglas Macarthur does not land what looks a weak renewal with the minimum of fuss en route to much better things.
Qemah set for more Group 1 glory in Matron Stakes
In the Group 1 Matron Stakes (17:35), French raider Qemah looks a worthy favourite to make it three wins on the bounce.
The Jean Claude Rouget trained filly had some smart form to her name in three runs as a juvenile and has developed into one of the best three-year-old milers in Europe.
Qemah was simply stunning when showing a devastating turn of foot to beat Nemoralia by 1 3/4 lengths in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, and has since gone on to follow-up with a smooth 1 1/4 length success in the Group 1 Rothschild Stakes at Deauville.
The daughter of Danehill Dancer is a strong travelling sort who oozes class and has a potent turn of foot which marks her out as something special.
Qemah also hails from a yard which is enjoying a tremendous season, so everything suggests this is hers for the taking.
Irish Champions Weekend tips / Leopardstown bets
16.00: Douglas Macarthur
16.35: Le Vagabond
17.35: Qemah (NB)
18.45: Minding (NAP)
You’ll find more betting tips in the Coral news horse racing section.