Australia heads star-studded Champions Weekend line-up

Derby winner Australia, Leading Light, The Grey Gatsby, Gleneagles, Tapestry and Chicquitaheads a star-studded list of entries for the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday and the Curragh on Sunday.

Australia will face a maximum of 11 rivals in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday and is the 2-7 favourite to claim a fourth Group 1 of the season.

He is set to clash again with The Grey Gatsby, who was second to Australia in the Juddmonte International last month, after the Prix du Jockey Club winner was supplemented for the race at a cost of €75,000.

Alkasser was also supplemented while Noble Mission, Mukhadram and Al Kazeem may also run on Saturday.

The Irish Champion Stakes is one of five Group 1 races on Irish Champions Weekend, with the Coolmore Matron Stakes, Moyglare Stud Stakes, Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger also being run.

Tapestry, who lowered the colours of King George winner Taghrooda in the Yorkshire Oaks, is set to drop back to a mile for Saturday’s Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

Coronation Stakes winner Rizeena is also one of 15 possibles for the Group One, which could feature Fiesolana, French challengers Thawaany and Kenhope and Balansiya.

Dermot Weld’s exciting Free Eagle is among the entries for the KPMG Enterprise Stakes earlier on the card.

Favourite for this season’s Epsom Derby after an impressive debut win last season, he was beaten by Australia on his next start and injury has kept him off the track until now.

Panama Hat and Brendan Brackan could take him on, while Aidan O’Brien has supplemented Hall Of Mirrors.

The John Deere Juvenile Turf Stakes, a race in which Australia beat Free Eagle 12 months ago, is likely to see the return of the O’Brien-trained John F Kennedy. He could be challenged by Agnes Stewart, the unbeaten Bertie Le Belge and Parish Boy.

Gordon Lord Byron, Darwin, Top Notch Tonto and Mustajeeb have, along with Brendan Brackan, been left in the Group Two Clipper Boomerang Mile.

The Irish St Leger is the feature race at the Curragh on Sunday and has attracted a 16-strong entry, including Gold Cup winner Leading Light, 2012 Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond, Cavalryman and 2012 St Leger winner Encke.

A number of leading juveniles will also be on show with Acomb Stakes winner Dutch Connection, Gleneagles, John F Kennedy and Highland Reel four of the 12 entries for the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes while Cursory Glance, Osaila and Found, who has been supplemented for €20,000, feature among 14 entries for the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Among the other runners entries for the weekend are Chicquita, last year’s Irish Oaks winner, who could contest Sunday’s Group 2 Blandford Stakes, Mustajeeb, entered along with Gordon Lord Byron in Saturday’s Group 2 Boomerang Mile and Maarek, one of 23 contenders for the Flying Five on Sunday.

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