Luxembourg lands the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown

Luxembourg is back in the big time after landing the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore on Saturday.

Forced to miss the Derby with a setback after finishing third in the 2000 Guineas, the Camelot colt travelled in mid-division in the 10-furlong showpiece after starting at 7-2, allowing stablemate Stone Age to take a clear early lead before clicking into gear two furlongs from home.

After reeling Stone Age in, Luxembourg swept to the front and came out on top in battle with Grand Prix de Paris winner Onesto to prevail by half a length.

Fellow French raider Vadeni (7-4 favourite) did not have the clearest of passages in third, ahead of Mishriff in fourth.

I'm A Gambler comes up trumps for Marquand and Johnstons

There was British-trained one-two in the €150,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF "Sovereign Path" Handicap at Leopardstown, with the Charlie and Mark Johnston-trained I'm A Gambler holding off the late charge of John Quinn's Safe Voyage.

Ridden by Tom Marquand, I'm A Gambler - last seen finishing fifth in the Group Three Supreme Stakes at Goodwood - was never far from the pace, while in contrast Safe Voyage and Jason Hart had to make up lots of ground from the rear having been drawn in stall 19.

Half a length was the official margin for the 18-1 shot, and Marquand - making his first ride at the Dublin track a winning one - said: "I'm obviously getting a bit lucky with these Irish tracks coming over and having a first go round, but to be fair we had all the help there with a good draw.

"He was nice and relaxed in behind the lead and got a good run through when we needed it.

"The track rode a bit sharper than I'd imagined from watching it."

A philosophical Quinn added: "He was a long way back - through no fault of the rider - and nearly got there, but well done to the winner - the winning post is where it is! We knew he'd love Leopardstown and he ran very well."

Zarinsk landed the Listed Ballylinch Stud Irish EBF Ingabelle Stakes.

The Ger Lyons-trained filly won a good maiden at the Curragh in May and was then fourth in both her following runs, the Airlie Stud Stakes and the Silver Flash Stakes, Group Two and three contests respectively.

Down in grade and a 9-2 chance in the hands of Colin Keane, the Juddmonte-owned two-year-old ran prominently on the inside rail and broke away from Aidan O'Brien's Library (2-1 favourite) to prevail by two lengths.

"She's a lovely filly. We've been blessed, our fillies have been pretty precocious this year and they've all won their maidens well," Lyons said.

"They need to step up then to stakes racing. She was a work in progress for the season, and still is I'd say.

"I'll to talk to the boys and the (Abdullah) family, but I could see us putting her away for next year. She's got a lovely stride and Colin is quite confident of her getting a mile."

Newtown Anner Stud could afford to wait calmly for the outcome of a photo finish in the Group Three Paddy Power Stakes as they owned both of the horses involved.

The Lyons-trained Thunder Kiss had taken up the lead in the home straight and galloped for home, but was pursued by Beamish and Dermot Weld's 6-1 chance Duke De Sessa.

The latter horse was gaining ground as the line loomed and the naked eye could not split them as they passed the post, with a photo eventually confirming Weld's runner had prevailed and Thunder Kiss was the runner up.

"It was close, he's had a break, he loves that ground and he loves this track," said Weld.

"He's been working exceptionally well and the only question in my mind was whether he'd get the mile and a half. I toyed with running him in the Champion Stakes, I thought we'd give him the easier option and that if he got the trip he'd be very hard to beat.

"Chris (Hayes, jockey) gave him a beautiful ride, he switched him off at the back which was the plan. He came home very strongly.

"He's in a Group One in Germany in about four weeks' time, but we'll review that plan for him."

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