Eminent Can Land Irish Champion Blow

Ante-post racing is somewhat dying, with seemingly very little value in long-term markets.

However, there can be times when an ante-post bet looks of interest, with particular attention on fields that are likely to cut up. With this in mind, we can take a look at the Irish Champion Stakes, where Churchill is likely to be warm order following a solid showing in the Juddmonte International.

He stayed on well down the York straight, edging out Barney Roy for second spot, with the pair seen off by Ulysses, who took advantage by sitting off a very strong early pace. This answered stamina doubts over Churchill and it looks a solid opportunity for Aidan O’Brien’s duel Guineas winner to get some black type over 10 furlongs.

However, when there is a strong O’Brien-trained favourite, races tend to cut up. Winter and Rhododendron are in behind but would either turn up if the fav takes his place? It has to be unlikely, with America potentially on the agenda and races over 12f that look likelier to suit.

Highland Reel could turn up before a crack at the Arc and Ulysses (current second fav) is likely to head to the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

So, could Eminent, who is almost a guaranteed runner, be sublime value at 12/1? Quite possibly.

Martyn Meade’s stable star looked destined for big things when cosily landing the Craven before running a big race when fifth in the 2000 Guineas, despite racing keenly. A solid run in the Derby when fourth, again pulling slightly, was a positive and it alleviated doubts over stamina.

By Frankel, he seems suited to the 10f trip and this was seen to full effect in a group two at Deauville last time out. Under an enterprising Ryan Moore ride, he made every yard, showing a nice change of pace to pull clear and this was a serious, serious performance.

It’s not inconceivable that the race will cut up to five or six runners, with perhaps a pacemaker from the O’Brien yard.

This means with three places on offer, Eminent looks worth significant each way interest at 12/1 and he could be a lot shorter come the day.


2pts each way – Eminent (Irish Champion) @ 12/1 (1/5 1-2-3)