Qipco Irish Champion Stakes
|Group 1, Leopardstown 17:45
1m 2f, Class 1
|Saturday 12th September 2015|
1 Golden Horn 5/4F
2 Found 6/1
3 Free Eagle 100/30
NR: Gleneagles (IRE)
7 ran Distances: 1l, ½l, 2l
TIME 2m 5.41s (slow by 2.91s)
Golden Horn and Frankie Dettori survive Stewards' inquiry
Golden Horn kept the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown after a dramatic finish to the Group One showpiece.
John Gosden's Derby winner veered across from the far rail inside the final furlong, bumping into Free Eagle who was making a strong challenge and was almost upsides.
There was no time for Free Eagle to regain his momentum and Golden Horn, the 5-4 favourite, came home in front after making most of the running under Frankie Dettori.
Found ran on to grab second place, just ahead of the Dermot Weld-trained Free Eagle.
As expected, a stewards' inquiry was immediately called, but following some deliberation the placings remained unaltered.
Gosden said: "We got our tactics wrong at York. I thought the filly was magnificent, but we laid far too far back.
"I left it to the jockey and he's gone to the other extreme again. He's gone from the front, he's a very good horse.
"The shadow of the grandstand caught him (when he jinked to his right). There was a photographer standing there and didn't know how marked it was at that point.
"It caught him and he ran right across the shadow of the grandstand. The sun was out. They should probably have run the race later when there was no sun (reference to race being brought forward in quest for best ground)!
"He's done it well. He's handled slower ground, good to soft.
"Free Eagle was pushed out a bit and finished third. He's a top-class horse and we messed one race up, we nearly messed up another with the shadows.
"I think the fact that Free Eagle was third is a great help to us.
"I'm glad I know why he did it because he's never done anything like that before.
"This is a great race and it's a perfect three weeks into the Arc, where we'd love to go. He stays well.
"We'd like to go there, but we don't want a monsoon in Paris.
"He's at his best on good, good to firm ground as he's got an electric turn of foot. Today he galloped them into the ground, but he's much better off a strong pace.
"Today we had no choice. There was never going to be a strong gallop."
Dettori said: "I probably messed up at York, but he's got a good engine and we sent him to the front today.
"It was a great performance. He's shown the world how good he is."
Train Aidan O'Brien was pleased with Found's effort.
He said: "I'm delighted with the run - she ran a great race.
"She'll appreciate going up to a mile and a half. The plan was to come either here or the Vermeille and then the Arc, but we didn't want to travel with her if we didn't have to."
QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1)
1m 2f , Race Value: €1,100,000
Going: Yielding (Good to Soft in places)
|Pos||Dr||D||Horse SP||Jockey Weight||Trainer||Age|
|1st||(1)||Golden Horn 5/4f||L Dettori
|J H M Gosden||3|
|2nd||(3)||1||Found (IRE) 6/1||J A Heffernan
|A P O'Brien||3|
|3rd||(5)||½||Free Eagle (IRE) 10/3||P J Smullen
|D K Weld||4|
|4th||(2)||2||Pleascach (IRE) 14/1||K J Manning
|J S Bolger||3|
|5th||(7)||nk||Highland Reel (IRE) 16/1||J P O'Brien
|A P O'Brien||3|
|6th||(4)||1||The Grey Gatsby (IRE) 8/1||J P Spencer
|K A Ryan||4|
|7th||(8)||6||Cirrus Des Aigles (FR) 8/1||C Soumillon
|Mme C Barbe||9|
|NR||(6)||Gleneagles (IRE) 4/1||J P O'Brien
|A P O'Brien||3|