‘Win & You’re In’: Luxembourg Takes Irish Champion Stakes, Pearls Galore Wins Matron, Auguste Rodin Annexes Champions Juvenile

Luxembourg bagged a second career Group 1 with an impressive performance in the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) at Leopardstown, winning by a half-length ahead of the French-trained duo of Onesto and Coral-Eclipse Stakes (G1) winner and 7-4 favorite Vadeni.

The victory earned the 3-year-old Luxembourg, trained by Aidan O’Brien, an automatic berth into the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: “Win and You’re In”.

Luxembourg is owned by Westerberg, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, also the connections of Auguste Rodin, winner of the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2) earlier on the card.

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is an international series of 82 stakes races whose winners receive automatic starting positions and fees paid into a corresponding race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which is scheduled to be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 4-5.

The Irish Champion Stakes (G1) was one of three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races to take place at Leopardstown on Saturday, along with the Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes (G1) and KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2).

Stone Age and Broome, the other Aidan O’Brien-trained runners in the Irish Champion Stakes, made the early running and ensured a strong gallop throughout, but entering the final furlong Onesto took the lead and was locked in battle with Luxembourg in the home straight. The Ryan Moore-ridden Luxembourg prevailed to give trainer Aidan O’Brien a record 11th win in the race.

O’Brien said: “He wasn’t surrendering at the line today and he could be better over a mile and a half. His head was in the cooker a long way up that straight and he didn’t stop. Ryan was very impressed and he’s not an optimist by nature! Usually, if he’s a little bit impressed that will do.”

A son of Camelot out of Danehill Dancer mare Attire, Luxembourg completed the 1 ¼-mile race in 2:12:10 on a course rated as soft.

Pearls Galore Leads All The Way In Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes

The Paddy Twomey-trained Pearls Galore bounced right back to her best to banish the memory of her narrow defeat in last year’s Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes (G1) to win this year’s renewal by three lengths.

The victory secured Pearls Galore an automatic entry into the US$2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1).

Ridden by Billy Lee, and owned by Scea Haras De Saint Pair, Pearls Galore, off at 16-1, was sent to the front as soon as the gates opened. Saffron Beach, who beat Pearls Galore in the Prix Rothschild (G1) at Deauville last time, tracked the 5-year-old mare throughout the race but failed to get past up the Leopardstown home straight. Tenebrism finished third, followed by 5-4 favorite Homeless Songs (IRE) in fourth.

Pearls Galore, a daughter of Invincible Spirit out of the Pivotal mare Pearl Banks, completed the one-mile race in 1:44:36 over a soft course.

“We put on the cheekpieces, and the ground was soft. She loves this track; her best run last year was here in this race. I said to Billy (Lee) we’ll get the cheekpieces on, be positive and if they’re going to win it, make them win it,” said Twomey.

He added: “She’s tough. You could see in Billy’s body language that he was confident and I’m just delighted.”

Auguste Rodin Wins KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Auguste Rodin earned an automatic berth into this year’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) with a 1 ½-length win in the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes.

The son of Deep Impact out of the multiple G1-winning Galileo mare Rhododendron raced in midfield throughout and struck the front with one furlong to go, holding off the challenge of Caroline Street the only filly in the field, and Alder.

Auguste Rodin completed the one-mile contest in a time of 1:45:25.

As part of the benefits of the Challenge Series, Breeders’ Cup will pay the entry fees for the winners of the Challenge Series winners to start at this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Breeders’ Cup will also provide a US$40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships. The Challenge winner must be nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program by the Championships’ pre-entry deadline of Oct. 24 to receive the rewards.

The post ‘Win & You’re In’: Luxembourg Takes Irish Champion Stakes, Pearls Galore Wins Matron, Auguste Rodin Annexes Champions Juvenile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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