3.45 Irish Champion Stakes (Group 1) 1m2f
Alenquer: Took his form to a new level when best in a bunch finish to the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup in May, though probably took advantage of racing towards the front of a tame pace in a tactical contest. Couldn’t back it up when bowing out tamely in the Eclipse, so he has a bit to prove now.
Broome: Fifth to Alenquer in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on his seasonal debut but looked as good as he ever when much too good for Hardwicke rivals next. Struggled to keep tabs of a savage pace in the King George (12-length fourth) but better again on his latest start, when a close fourth in Sword Dancer at Saratoga, having been slowly away. Career best needed on what will be only his second time to race over 10 furlongs in 11 starts.
Mishriff: Triple Group 1 winner probably hasn’t hit the the heights he reached last season, but he probably should have beaten Vadeni in the Eclipse, having got stuck in a pocket for a prolonged period, lost ground in his manouvere to get out and was still only beaten by a neck. Excused for 11-length third in the King George and isn’t as effective at 12 furlongs in any case, while he was the best of the rest behind Baaeed when trying to defend his International title at York. Sets the standard, and Vadeni will need to have improved to confirm the Eclipse form.
Luxembourg: Derby favourite through the winter and that price got significantly shorter after a highly creditable third in the Guineas. A setback denied him the chance however, and he only returned last month to just about land prohibitive odds in the Royal Whip. Reported to be only 70% fit then but intriguing as he is, you have to take plenty for granted to support him.
Onesto: Grand Prix de Paris winner who could be underrated here with the majority of attention on Vadeni, with connections of that colt earmarking this race from a long way out. Onesto was fifth to him in the Prix du Jockey Club, but he had a car-park draw and did well in the circumstances. He then produced a last-to-first run to win his Group 1 at ParisLongchamp. Comes back in trip here but there’s no reason why he can’t be as effective, and he has the same scope for improvement that his old rival has.
Stone Age: Looked electric when winning Derby Trial Stakes here in May but was only sixth in the Derby, and although running with credit in American Grade 1s twice since, he hasn’t won, and this looks a step too far again.
Vadeni: Most impressive in the Prix du Jockey Club when running out a five-length winner on soft ground and then successfully dealt with his elders in a good-quality Eclipse. Mishriff may well have beaten him with a clear run, however Vadeni has scope to improve further again for his trainer, who won this with Almanzor in 2016. Versatile ground- and tactics-wise, so could prove hard to beat.
Vadeni looks worth taking on at 5/4 or below. Considering this has been his connections’ plan for a long time and his similarities to previous winner Almanzor, he may be overrated. Broome could help to make the pace, and if that is the case, Onesto is tempting, but Mishriff looks more solid. He should have won the Eclipse and can gain revenge today.