DONCASTER stages the world’s oldest Classic tomorrow afternoon, but if it’s superstar thoroughbreds you’re looking for the only place to head to is Leopardstown.

Roaring Lion has proven to be the best 10-furlong horse around after wins in the Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International on his previous two starts.

He’s a hot favourite to give John Gosden his third Irish Champion Stakes in the last six years and you’d have to be a brave punter to take him on.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Saxon Warrior finishes closer to him than he did at York, but it’s still asking a lot for him to turn around a five-length deficit.

French Derby winner Study Of Man is another threat, although he was disappointing at Deauville last month, so this really looks like Roaring Lion’s race to lose.

If he’s going to be hard to beat, then it’s surely going to take an act of God to beat the brilliant Alpha Centauri in the Matron Stakes.

Jessica Harrington’s stunning daughter of Mastercraftsman is the best miler in Europe, and probably the world.

Her last four performances have been breathtaking and I expect her to win this before having a crack at the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in early November.

It will be a pleasure to watch these two outstanding animals strut their stuff, but they aren’t betting propositions.

I’m actually more interested in the second day of Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh on Sunday where the best bet could well be Andrew Balding’s FLASHCARD at 3/1 with Betfair in the Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sales Stakes (5.25pm).

He produced an electric burst of speed to win a novice stakes event at Salisbury on debut, defying his 33/1 price.

Immediately afterwards his trainer said Sunday’s hugely valuable contest was the plan and a follow-up win at the Wiltshire track just nine days after his debut win did nothing to quell the enthusiasm.

This doesn’t look the strongest of renewals and the in-form Balding team can ensure the prize goes back to England for the fourth time in the last five years.

Dermot Weld would be the first to admit that the last two seasons have been disappointing for Rosewell House.

A bug affected his yard last year and he just doesn’t quite seem to have the right firepower at the moment.

However, he’s a world class trainer and these things have a habit of changing pretty quickly.

Weld has a fine record in Sunday’s Group Two Blandford Stakes (2.35pm), having won three of the past four runnings.

He has supplemented EZIYRA and the four-year-old daughter of Teofilo looks to hold strong claims having been an excellent third behind Sea Of Class in the Yorkshire Oaks last month.

Since finishing third to the top class Enable in last year’s Irish Oaks, she has won three Group Three prizes over 1m4f, before that career best effort at York last time.

I’m not worried about the drop back to 1m2f and she looks a decent bet at 7/4 with Betfair.

My final selection in Ireland is Charlie Appleby’s QUORTO at 6/4 with Ladbrokes in the National Stakes (4.15pm).

The unbeaten son of Dubawi was very impressive in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket in July and could have too much speed for Anthony Van Dyck over this seven-furlong trip.


Eziyra 2.35pm Curragh

Quarto 4.15pm Curragh

Flashcard 5.25pm Curragh


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