Tuesday 20 August 2019

Japanese superstar Deirdre confirmed for QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes in Leopardstown

Deirdre (left)
Deirdre (left)

John Brennan

Japanese superstar Deirdre has been confirmed a runner in next month's QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes, the centrepiece on day one of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday, September 14.

It's a huge boost to the race and to Irish Champions' Weekend to have the first-ever Japanese-trained runner in Ireland competing in the big race next month.

The Irish Champion Stakes will be shown live on Japanese television, in the early hours of Sunday morning and will draw a huge audience to watch a horse that has become a heroine.

Despite her name, Deirdre has no Irish breeding in her, being by Harbinger, who stands in Japan.

The mare was a brilliant winner of the recent Qatar Nassau Stakes at Goodwood, becoming only the second-ever Japanese-trained Group 1 winner in Britain, and her next run in Europe has been the subject of much speculation since that victory.

That speculation ended today with the confirmation from connections that a tilt at the famous QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes next month which, like the Nassau, is run over 10 furlongs.

"Bringing Deirdre over to Europe has been a wonderful adventure, and we have been overwhelmed with the friendliness of the welcome," said her trainer Mitsuru Hashida.

"Her winning the Nassau Stakes was a fabulous day, not just for us but for Japanese racing and we now can't wait for her to become the first-ever Japanese runner in Ireland, especially in such a globally renowned race as the QIPCQ Irish Champion Stakes. It will be a great honour for us, and we will be doing our very best to make sure our mare will again represent her country so magnificently."

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