Irish Champion Stakes

Irish Champion Stakes

Irish Champion Stakes

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The Irish Champion Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race in Ireland which is open to thoroughbreds aged three years or older. It is run at Leopardstown over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs (2,012 metres), and it is scheduled to take place each year in September.


The event was established in 1976, and in the early part of its history it was called the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes. It was initially staged at Leopardstown, and from its outset it held Group 1 status. It was named in memory of Joe McGrath (1887–1966), the founder of the Irish Hospitals' Sweepstake and subsequently a successful racehorse owner.

The race became known as the Phoenix Champion Stakes in 1984, when it was transferred to Phoenix Park. This venue was closed for racing in late 1990, and the event's present title was introduced when it returned to Leopardstown in 1991.

The Irish Champion Stakes became part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series in 2009. The winner of the race now earns an automatic invitation to compete in the same year's Breeders' Cup Turf.


<span style="font-size:90%">Most successful horse (2 wins):
Leading jockey (7 wins):
  • Michael KinaneCarroll House (1989), Cezanne (1994), Pilsudski (1997), Giant's Causeway (2000), High Chaparral (2003), Azamour (2004), Sea the Stars (2009)

Leading trainer (6 wins):
  • Aidan O'BrienGiant's Causeway (2000), High Chaparral...... ...
  • ...

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