|Group 1 race|
|Location|| Leopardstown |
Co. Dublin, Ireland
|Race type||Flat / Thoroughbred|
|Website||Irish Champions Weekend|
|Distance||1m 2f (2,012 metres)|
|Qualification||Three-years-old and up|
|Weight||9 st 1 lb (3yo);|
9 st 7 lb (4yo+)
3 lb for fillies and mares
|Magical||Magic Wand||Anthony Van Dyck|
|Roaring Lion||Saxon Warrior||Deauville|
|Decorated Knight||Poet's Word||Eminent|
|Golden Horn||Found||Free Eagle|
|The Grey Gatsby||Australia||Trading Leather|
|The Fugue||Al Kazeem||Trading Leather|
|Snow Fairy||Nathaniel||St Nicholas Abbey|
|So You Think||Snow Fairy||Famous Name|
|Cape Blanco||Rip Van Winkle||Twice Over|
|Sea The Stars||Fame And Glory||Mastercraftsman|
|New Approach||Traffic Guard||Mores Wells|
|Dylan Thomas||Duke Of Marmalade||Red Rock Canyon|
|Dylan Thomas||Ouija Board||Alexander Goldrun|
|Grandera||Hawk Wing||Best Of The Bests|
|Giant's Causeway||Greek Dance||Best Of The Bests|
|Daylami||Dazzling Park||Dream Well|
|Timarida||Dance Design||Glory Of Dancer|
|Cezanne||Del Deya||Grand Lodge|
|Muhtarram||Opera House||Lord Of The Field|
|Dr Devious||St Jovite||Alflora|
|Suave Dancer||Environment Friend||Stagecraft|
|Indian Skimmer||Shady Heights||Triptych|
|Park Express||Double Bed||Triptych|
|Commanche Run||Bob Back||Damister|
|Sadler's Wells||Seattle Song||Princess Pati|
The Irish Champion Stakes (Irish: Curadh-Dhuais na hÉireann) is a Group 1 flat horse race in Ireland open to horses aged three years or older. It is run at Leopardstown over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,012 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in September.
The event was established in 1976, and it was initially held at Leopardstown as the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes. It was named in memory of Joe McGrath (1887–1966), the founder of the Irish Hospitals' Sweepstake and a successful racehorse owner.
The race was transferred to Phoenix Park and renamed the Phoenix Champion Stakes in 1984. Its present title was introduced in 1991, when the event returned to Leopardstown after the closure of its former venue.
The Irish Champion Stakes became part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series in 2009. The winner now earns an automatic invitation to compete in the same year's Breeders' Cup Turf.
The Irish Champion Stakes has become a very useful prep race for the remaining major races in the Autumn schedule such as the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Champion Stakes, Breeders Cup, Hong Kong International Festival and major Group 1 races in Japan. The 2016 edition of the race was possibly one of its strongest editions with eight out of 12 participants winning 17 career Group 1's between them prior to the race. The form of the race would later see four of the participants win further Group 1 honours by the end of the 2016 season, producing a first & second in that year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, first and second in the Champion Stakes, the winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, and first and second in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Winners of the Irish Champion Stakes have gone on to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the same season on five occasions: Carroll House (1989), Suave Dancer (1991), Dylan Thomas (2007), Sea The Stars (2009) and Golden Horn (2015), and a sixth Arc win was achieved when 2016 Irish Champion Stakes runner-up, Found, won the 2016 edition of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
Winners of the Irish Champion Stakes have gone on to win the Champion Stakes in the same season on six occasions: Triptych (1987), Indian Skimmer (1988), Pilsudski (1997), New Approach (2008), Almanzor (2016) and Magical (2019). The race has produced two further winners of the Champion Stakes with the 1986 third, Triptych, and the 2010 third, Twice Over, subsequently winning the British race that season.
Participants in the Irish Champion Stakes have gone on to win several Breeders' Cup titles in the same season. This includes five winners of the Breeders' Cup Turf, with Irish Champion Stakes winners such as Daylami (1999), Fantastic Light (2001), High Chaparral (2003) achieving a season double, while 2015 Irish Champion Stakes runner-up, Found, and a 2016 participant, Highland Reel, found success in the respective season's edition. In 2006, third placed Ouija Board went on to win that season's edition of the Breeders Cup' Filly & Mares Turf.
Success has been also achieved in Japan where the Irish Champion Stakes winners, Stanerra (1983) and Pilsudski (1997) won the Japan Cup in the same season. Meanwhile, 2011 runner-up, Snow Fairy, gained compensation by winning that year's Queen Elizabeth II Commemorative Cup
Most successful horse (2 wins):
Leading jockey (7 wins):
Leading trainer (9 wins):
Leading owner (9 wins):(includes part ownership)
|1976||Malacate||3||Lester Piggott||François Boutin||María Félix Berger||2:07.60|
|1977||North Stoke||3||Ron Hutchinson||John Dunlop||Mrs M. Lequime||2:09.20|
|1978||Inkerman||3||Lester Piggott||Vincent O'Brien||Simon Fraser||2:05.20|
|1979||Fordham||4||Tommy Carberry||Vincent O'Brien||Robert Sangster||2:07.00|
|1980||Gregorian||4||George McGrath||Vincent O'Brien||Danny Schwartz||2:07.80|
|1981||Kings Lake||3||Pat Eddery||Vincent O'Brien||Mrs Jean-Pierre Binet||2:06.30|
|1982||Assert||3||Christy Roche||David O'Brien||Robert Sangster||2:06.30|
|1983||Stanerra||5||Brian Rouse||Frank Dunne||Frank Dunne||2:09.50|
|1984||Sadler's Wells||3||Pat Eddery||Vincent O'Brien||Robert Sangster||2:00.90|
|1985||Commanche Run||4||Lester Piggott||Luca Cumani||Ivan Allan||2:09.20|
|1986||Park Express||3||John Reid||Jim Bolger||Paddy Burns||2:02.50|
|1987||Triptych||5||Tony Cruz||Patrick Biancone||Alan Clore||2:06.70|
|1988||Indian Skimmer||4||Michael Roberts||Henry Cecil||Sheikh Mohammed||2:06.50|
|1989||Carroll House||4||Michael Kinane||Michael Jarvis||Antonio Balzarini||2:04.00|
|1990||Elmaamul||3||Willie Carson||Dick Hern||Hamdan Al Maktoum||2:02.90|
|1991||Suave Dancer||3||Cash Asmussen||John Hammond||Henri Chalhoub||2:06.80|
|1992||Dr Devious||3||John Reid||Peter Chapple-Hyam||Sidney Craig||2:10.00|
|1993||Muhtarram||4||Willie Carson||John Gosden||Hamdan Al Maktoum||2:06.10|
|1994||Cezanne||5||Michael Kinane||Michael Stoute||Godolphin||2:07.90|
|1995||Pentire||3||Michael Hills||Geoff Wragg||Mollers Racing||2:04.40|
|1996||Timarida||4||Johnny Murtagh||John Oxx||Aga Khan IV||2:06.20|
|1997||Pilsudski||5||Michael Kinane||Michael Stoute||Lord Weinstock||2:04.70|
|1998||Swain||6||Frankie Dettori||Saeed bin Suroor||Godolphin||2:10.20|
|1999||Daylami||5||Frankie Dettori||Saeed bin Suroor||Godolphin||2:08.40|
|2000||Giant's Causeway||3||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien||Magnier / Tabor||2:03.10|
|2001||Fantastic Light||5||Frankie Dettori||Saeed bin Suroor||Godolphin||2:01.80|
|2002||Grandera||4||Frankie Dettori||Saeed bin Suroor||Godolphin||2:04.70|
|2003||High Chaparral||4||Michael Kinane||Aidan O'Brien||Tabor / Magnier||2:03.30|
|2004||Azamour||3||Michael Kinane||John Oxx||HH Aga Khan IV||2:01.90|
|2005||Oratorio||3||Kieren Fallon||Aidan O'Brien||Magnier / Tabor||2:03.90|
|2006||Dylan Thomas||3||Kieren Fallon||Aidan O'Brien||Magnier / Tabor||2:02.90|
|2007||Dylan Thomas||4||Kieren Fallon||Aidan O'Brien||Magnier / Tabor||2:02.27|
|2008||New Approach||3||Kevin Manning||Jim Bolger||Princess Haya of Jordan||2:07.57|
|2009||Sea the Stars||3||Michael Kinane||John Oxx||Christopher Tsui||2:03.90|
|2010||Cape Blanco||3||Seamie Heffernan||Aidan O'Brien||Smith / Magnier / Tabor||2:03:89|
|2011||So You Think||5||Seamie Heffernan||Aidan O'Brien||Derrick Smith et al.||2:04.20|
|2012||Snow Fairy||5||Frankie Dettori||Ed Dunlop||Anamoine Limited||2:00.92|
|2013||The Fugue||4||William Buick||John Gosden||Andrew Lloyd Webber||2:05.22|
|2014||The Grey Gatsby||3||Ryan Moore||Kevin Ryan||Frank Gillespie||2:03.18|
|2015||Golden Horn||3||Frankie Dettori||John Gosden||Anthony Oppenheimer||2:05.41|
|2016||Almanzor||3||Christophe Soumillon||Jean-Claude Rouget||Ecurie Antonio Caro||2:08.93|
|2017||Decorated Knight||5||Andrea Atzeni||Roger Charlton||Al Homaizi / Al Sagar||2:08.36|
|2018||Roaring Lion||3||Oisin Murphy||John Gosden||Qatar Racing Ltd||2:07.21|
|2019||Magical||4||Ryan Moore||Aidan O'Brien||Smith / Magnier / Tabor||2:06.49|
|2020||Magical||5||Seamie Heffernan||Aidan O'Brien||Smith / Magnier / Tabor||2:05.08|
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