2023 Irish Champion Stakes Odds & Racing Picks

The stars come out for a crackerjack renewal of the G1 2023 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, which features Epsom Derby one-two Auguste Rodin and King Of Steel, high-class filly Nashwa, and the exacta from last year’s contest in Luxembourg and Onesto.

Check the recap Auguste Rodin takes the 2023 Irish Champion Stakes

Breeders Cup Odds

Champion Stakes

G1, 1,250,000 euro, 1m 2f fast turf, 3yo+, 10.20am ET

Major players from three countries light up the Irish Champion at Leopardstown on Saturday, with the focus falling on two star sophomores doing battle for the fourth time in a race that offers a free berth into the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

The big question is – which version of Auguste Rodin will turn up? He has been either brilliant or useless in 2023, beaten a city block in the G1 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, then a powerhouse winner of the G1 Derby at Epsom, beating King Of Steel by a half-length with Sprewell fourth, beaten seven lengths. He was then dominant in the G1 Irish Derby at the Curragh before performing like a mule in the G1 King George at Ascot, finishing an eased last of ten. His inconsistency may be physical or mental but it is a fact.

Way up the track at Ascot, King Of Steel was running an excellent race to be third behind older horses, beaten four and three-quarter lengths, maintaining the brisk upward progress that had also brought him G2 success at Royal Ascot. Neither horse has ever run at ten furlongs and the distance should suit King Of Steel better than Auguste Rodin – although if Auguste Rodin is ‘on’ today the cutback, or anything else, may not matter.

Auguste Rodin’s barnmate Luxembourg won this race on soft ground 12 months ago, putting away the tenacious Onesto in the last 100 yards to get the money by a half-length. He was fourth in the King George, three and a quarter lengths behind King Of Steel, but is better at ten furlongs and the faster ground is not an issue. It may be a problem for Onesto, who likes the mud.

Aidan O’Brien – who has won this the last four years straight – also puts in Point Lonsdale as a rabbit to ensure a decent pace.

The lone filly Nashwa ran a career-best in the ten-furlong 2023 G1 Juddmonte International at York last time, runner-up when splitting the top-class Mostahdaf and Paddington, and fast ground suits her. The 17-day turnaround may not be ideal but she is on the crest of a wave and will be a strong threat.

This is a big class hike for the progressive Alflaila, who got home by a half-length in a minor G2 at York on his first attempt at ten furlongs, off a ten-month layoff. He is fresh but needs a landmark career-best against these top-notch rivals, as does juvenile G1 winner Al Riffa, who chased home crack French colt Ace Impact in a G2 at Deauville last month, keeping on well in the closing stages over ten furlongs.

2023 Irish Champion Stakes Odds

HorseJockeyHorse Racing Odds by Jazzsports
King Of SteelKevin Stott+275
Auguste RodinRyan Moore+350
NashwaHollie Doyle+750
AlflailaJim Crowley+600
OnestoFrankie Dettori+800
Al RiffaChristophe Soumillon+900
LuxembourgSeamie Heffernan+1100
SprewellShane Foley+5000
Point LonsdaleDylan Browne McMonagle+10000

If NASHWA can get somewhere near her recent career-best off a swift turnaround then she will be very tough to beat on ground that suits perfectly.

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