Recorder could give a royal nod to the Curragh
Queen Elizabeth II’s star two-year-old may line out in the National Stakes at €4m Champions Weekend
Recorder, ridden by Frankie Dettori, seen wining the Acomb Stakes at York, is a likely contender for the National Stakes during Champions Weekend at the Curragh. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Champions Weekend are hoping Queen Elizabeth II’s star two-year-old Recorder can provide a further international profile boost at the Curragh in less than three weeks time.
Winner of last week’s Acomb Stakes at York, Recorder is set to step up to Group 1 company for his next start and trainer William Haggas has described the €300,000 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes as “favourite” to be the Galileo colt’s next stop.
Although Leopardstown hosts a potential ‘race of the year’ contest between Golden Horn, Gleneagles, Free Eagle and co, in the €1.1 million Qipco Irish Champion Stakes, a royal contender is an intriguing prospect for the Curragh authorities, who have three of the five Group 1 races to be run over the two days.
“I believe he’s an intended runner. William Haggas indicated after the York race he would like to run Recorder at the Curragh in the National Stakes,” Curragh manager Paul Hensey said.
The last high profile runner to carry the British monarch’s colours here was Carlton House, who started 5-4 favourite for the Irish Derby, but managed only fourth in this country’s premier classic.
Prior to that, Carlton House had finished third in the Epsom Derby, and Recorder, who was also bred by his owner, is already a 33-1 shot in ante-post betting for next year’s Derby.
Total prizemoney for the Curragh’s second leg of Champions Weekend has been boosted by €200,000 to €1.9 million. A total of €4.03 million will be on offer over the two days.
Bookmakers appear to be at odds over the betting for the Irish Champion Stakes, with differences of opinion over whether the Derby winner Golden Horn, or Dermot Weld’s star older horse Free Eagle, should top the market.
Much of the build up to the mile and a quarter feature is likely to centre on ground conditions and whether or not the weather will allow Golden Horn and Aidan O’Brien’s star three-year-old Gleneagles to take part.
Last year’s dramatic winner The Grey Gatsby is set to defend his title, while further international interest may come from Germany where the Group 1 winner Guiliani is being considered for an ambitious trip to Ireland.
“Guiliani is a possibility for the Irish Champion. He is also in the Prix Du Moulin over a mile at Longchamp the following day so I will look at the entries and then decide,” said his trainer Jean-Pierre Carvalho.
“He is not really a miler – he is better at 2000 metres, but there might be fewer entries at Longchamp, and there is a lot of travel to consider in bringing him to Ireland. That said, I would very much like to make the trip,” he added.
Lucida disappointed on her previous start at Newmarket but is on track to try and secure an elusive Group 1, with trainer Jim Bolger reporting: “She is back on song and hopefully all will be well for Leopardstown in September.”