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September 07, 2009

Yeats and Profound Beauty to clash in The Irish Field St Leger

Yeats is the star attraction at the Curragh’s two day Autumn Festival weekend, when the four times Ascot Gold Cup winner bids to land The Irish Field St Leger this Saturday.
One of four Aidan O’Brien entries for the final Classic race of the season, Yeats has plenty of opposition, most notably, current Emirates Melbourne Cup favourite Profound Beauty and the highly promising Alandi. In addition, there are five overseas trained challengers in Clowance, Royal and Regal, Tastahil, the Godolphin owned Schiaparelli and All The Aces, who finished runner up in the September Stakes at Kempton last Saturday. Other notable entries for the race are the John Oxx Mourayan, the hat trick seeking Moon Indigo, Age of Aquarius and Ebor Handicap runner up Changingoftheguard.
Aidan O’Brien will hope to saddle his eighth winner of the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes sponsored by He appears to have a vice like grip on this year’s renewal as the Ballydoyle handler has no less than twelve of the eighteen entries for the prestigious Group 1 contest. Top of the list is Alfred Nobel, while O’Brien has plenty of back up power with horses such as Cape Blanco, Black Quartz, Lord High Admiral and Viscount Nelson.
There is one British trained entry in Poet’s Voice who has been supplemented into the race by owners Godolphin. Meanwhile trainer Jim Bolger, who has won this race with champions New Approach and Teofilo, is represented by Chabal and Free Judgement, while Dermot Weld will rely on Stunning View.
Boylesports Irish 1000 Guineas runner up Lahaleeb is one of two British trained contenders for the Group 2 Irish National Stud Blandford Stakes, in which she is likely to be joined by compatriot Lady Marian. Also included among the twelve entries is impressive Dance Design Stakes winner Chinese White, while Aidan O’Brien can select between Chirkova, Perfect Truth, Roman Empress and Totally Devoted.

Hats will be the key focus of the day with a year’s supply of Bollinger champagne presented to the lady judged to wear the Most Stylish Hat, while race goers will have the chance to win a trip to the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

An exhibition to commemorate the life of Vincent O’Brien will take place over both days to coincide with the inaugural running of the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, a race which he won fifteen times during his illustrious career. This will include an exhibition of memorabilia open to the public and presentations to some of his closest associates including Lester Piggott.

The first of seven races on Saturday gets underway at 2.15pm, while the ground is currently soft to heavy.  Admission is €20, seniors and students €10 and children under 15 free.