Johnny Ward's best bets for day one of Irish Champions Weekend

By Johnny Ward
Sat 11 Sep 2021

Join Johnny Ward, Fran Berry, John McDonnell and special guest Seamie Heffernan for extended thoughts on Longines Irish Champions Weekend in the latest On The Wire podcast, sponsored by Bar One Racing

It's the best weekend of racing all year in Ireland and thankfully we have some racegoers to enjoy it all.

Despite only four runners contesting the feature, and a bizarre lack of overseas runners, it's still a fascinating race.

Here are five selections and make sure to look out for bookmakers' offers on the handicaps.

12.40 Leopardstown: Lullaby

Three Galileos filled the first four places in a Curragh Group 3 on this one's debut when she travelled well before being beaten three lengths. Theoretically down in grade here, with improvement seemingly a near certainty, she must have a really bright future. Galileo-bred horses very rarely win on debut for Aidan O'Brien, let alone in a Group 3.

1.40 Leopardstown: Mother Earth

There was no getting away from Fran Berry's regard for this filly's chance on the On The Wire podcast and, given how consistent she is, her low draw and that the ground makes little or no difference, she should win.

2.45 Leopardstown: St Mark's Basilica

I've spoken to the three main trainers going into this race. Jim Bolger is clearly not sure Poetic Flare will stay, Dermot Weld was at pains to stress Tarnawa is being trained for the Arc and St Mark's Basilica already has better form than both. Little more needs to be said.

3.45 Leopardstown: Hook Up

The choice of Patrick Mullins in Galway's big amateur handicap, she ran a really good race, and will have no issue with this speedier test with Ryan Moore booked. Willie Mullins has won this race thrice already. She has solid claims.

4.20 Leopardstown: Riot

Really consistent for John Gosden, Riot made a nice start at Dundalk for John Murtagh when the trip seemed on the sharp side. He has a decent draw and what looks certain to be a strong pace to sit off. It's a tough race but he is really solid.

Not long to wait now! Watch Longines Irish Champions Weekend live on Racing TV.

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