Irish Champions Festival: Betting Sites, Tips and Bonuses!

ere at we’re going to preview the biggest races of the festival, offering the best free bets and horse racing odds from our online betting partners at William Hill.

he highlight of the Irish Flat season takes place this weekend with two huge days of racing spread across two of the country’s most iconic racecourses. Action gets underway at Leopardstown on Saturday before moving onto the Curragh on Sunday. Over the two-day festival there are no fewer than six Group 1 races taking place and over €4.5m in prize money up for grabs. Here at we’re going to preview the biggest races of the festival, offering the best free bets and horse racing odds from our online betting partners at William Hill.


Coolmore America “Justify” Matron Stakes

One of the shortest priced favourites on day one runs in the first Group 1 of the festival. Tahiyra looked mightily impressive when landing the Irish 1000 Guineas before following up by winning the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. Defeated by Mawj in the 1000 Guineas but should have more than enough to land this. Tahiyra’s main threat is likely to come from stablemate, Homeless Songs. Dermot Weld’s four-year-old was second in a Listed contest last time out but last year’s Irish 1000 Guineas winner has attracted plenty of market support recently.

Race odds

  • Evens: Tahiyra
  • 13/2: Homeless Songs
  • 8/1: Zarinsk
  • 10/1: Just Beautiful
  • 11/1: Meditate
  • 12/1: Rogue Millennium

Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes

The feature race on day one includes a star-studded field. King Of Steel heads the market and looks to be improving with each run. Winner of the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, King Of Steel finished third in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last time out.

King Of Steel was beaten into second in the Betfred Derby by Auguste Rodin and the Aidan O’Brien-trained star followed up by winning the Irish Derby at the Curragh in July. However, Auguste Rodin tailed off to finish tenth of ten in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Certainly amongst the most talented in the field but far too inconsistent to back at 7/2 with any real conviction.

Nashwa is arguably the best value in the field at 6/1. The Falmouth Stakes winner is almost always there or thereabouts and looked impressive when second in the Juddmonte International last time out.

Race odds

  • 3/1: King Of Steel
  • 7/2: Auguste Rodin
  • 11/2: Alflaila
  • 6/1: Nashwa
  • 10/1: Luxembourg, Al Riffa


Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes

The first Group 1 race on Sunday includes last year’s Champion Sprinter, Highfield Princess. John Quinn’s star had to settle for second in the Nunthorpe Stakes last time out but she has already won several Group 1 races including last year’s renewal of this. Has been placed in all five runs so far in 2023, winning the Qatar Stakes at Goodwood to runs ago. Undoubtedly the one to beat.

Bradsell defeated Highfield Princess to win the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot but those finishing positions were reversed when they met again in the Nunthorpe.

Art Power is 4/4 at the Curragh including a C&D win in July’s Sapphire Stakes. Not quite at it when 5/10 in the Prix Maurice de Gheest over at Deauville but his Curragh form cannot be ignored; he’s our pick for this.

Race odds

  • 11/8: Highfield Princess
  • 11/4: Bradsell
  • 9/2: Art Power
  • 16/1: Bouttemont

Moyglare Stud Stakes

Ylang Ylang is a big favourite to win this two-year-old fillies race. She a fillies maiden here at the Curragh in June before landing a Group 3 contest ahead of Vespertilio last time out. The reputation of both was enhanced following Vespertilio’s impressive Group 2 win here in August.

However, Porta Fortuna looks far too good to ignore at 7/1. Having won three times between April and June, she was a solid second in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes here at the Curragh last month. Frankie Dettori returns to the saddle for this exciting prospect.

Race odds

  • 10/11: Ylang Ylang
  • 9/2: Vespertilio
  • 7/1: Red Viburnum, Porta Fortuna
  • 17/2: Fallen Angel

Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes

The National Stakes looks a straight shootout between Phoenix Stakes winner Bucanero Fuerte and the Aidan O’Brien-trained City Of Troy. The latter looked superb when landing the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last time out. City Of Troy finished 6 1/2 lengths clear of Haatem at Newmarket yet the runner-up went on to land a Group 2 at Glorious Goodwood. Sometimes you have to accept that the bookies have got it right and City Of Troy looks every bit the winner of this.

Race odds

  • 8/11: City Of Troy
  • 7/2: Bucanero Fuerte
  • 4/1: Henry Longfellow

Comer Group International Irish St. Leger

The final Group 1 race of the festival is the feature race of the entire weekend. As the final Irish Classic of the year, the Irish St. Leger is one of the biggest races during the flat season. This year’s renewal could be a thriller. There are three real big players amongst the field of five.

Quite rightly, last year’s Champion Stayer, Kyprios is the market leader having won all six races he contested in 2022. The five-year-old won four successive Group 1 races including last year’s Irish St. Leger. However, he’s been absent through injury since winner the Prix du Cadran on October 1st 2022 and that 300+ day period of inactivity is the only negative.

Stablemate, Emily Dickinson won the Curragh Cup here in July but was some six lengths off the winner in the Goodwood Cup last time out. However, she did finish ahead of Eldar Eldarov that day and was also ahead of Roger Varian’s four-year-old in the Ascot Gold Cup.

On form, Emily Dickinson gets the nod but if Kyprios is anywhere near the form he showed throughout 2022, he will not be beaten on Sunday.

Race odds

  • 11/8: Kyprios
  • 11/4: Eldar Eldarov
  • 3/1: Emily Dickinson
  • 12/1: Yashin

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