Tuesday 17 September 2019

Kevin Prendergast bullish over Madhmoon's claims in Irish Champion Stakes

Horse trainer Kevin Prendergast. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Horse trainer Kevin Prendergast. Photo by Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Kevin Prendergast is in confident mood ahead of next week's QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes tilt with Madhmoon and the veteran trainer reckons that "whatever beats him will win."

Madhmoon was unbeaten as a juvenile – including when landing the Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown during last year's Longines Irish Champions Weekend – before running a blinder when fourth in this year's English 2,000 Guineas.

The son of Dawn Approach was better again when just touched off by Anthony Van Dyck in the English Derby before never mounting a challenge when fourth behind runaway winner Sovereign in the Irish equivalent.

He got back on track when dropping back to a mile to land the Group Three Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown last month in good style and Prendergast is excited about his chances over ten furlongs on Saturday week at the Foxrock track.

"I couldn't be happier with the shape he is in. As for his ideal trip, with his form in the Classics this year it would be hard to say but certainly ten furlongs won't be a problem," the 87-year-old said.

"The race the last day served its purpose. It was good to see him drop back to a mile and show the pace to win over that trip. I don't think tactics will matter next weekend either."

Prendergast has never won the Irish Champion Stakes but he believes Chris Hayes' mount – as big as 8/1 for the €1.25million showpiece – will take some stopping.

"I managed a fourth in the race before alright but I've never had anything like Madhmoon," Prendergast said.

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