Who Are The Best Irish Horses Right Now? – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Who Are The Best Irish Horses Right Now?

The talent of Irish horses was evident once again at the recent Cheltenham Festival, with runners from across the sea dominating in effectively an away game against the British counterparts. 

That Irish success is once again likely to continue when the flat season steps up a gear when the 2,000 Guineas is staged at the start of May. There are no shortage of legendary trainers in Ireland, with Willie Mullins and Aidan O’Brien achieving dominance over jumps and on the flat, respectively. 

But, who are some of the most talented Irish horses in training at present? 

Galopin Des Champs

It would be hard to start anywhere other than the horse of the moment for trainer Willie Mullins. Galopin Des Champs is widely considered to be the best staying chaser across the United Kingdom and Ireland, and there could yet be more history on the horizon for this dominant eight-year-old. 

The runner landed a second straight Cheltenham Gold Cup at the recent Festival, beating Gerri Colombe by a comfortable three-length margin. That was his ninth victory in 12 starts over fences, and he has only failed to finish a race on one occasion after falling at the last when well clear in the Brown Advisory at the Festival in 2022. 

Galopin Des Champs will be looking to end the 2024 season on a high note when he returns to action after the Festival in the G1 Punchestown Gold Cup. The sky remains the limit for this legend, and his star could join the greats of the game if he is able to land a third straight Gold Cup in 2025. 

City Of Troy

One of the big talking horses ahead of the flat season in 2024 remains City of Troy for trainer Aidan O’Brien. The three-year-old was the dominant horse as a two-year-old in 2023, winning the G2 Superlative Stakes by over six lengths from an impressive rival in the form of Haatem. 

He made a very dominant impression once again over seven furlongs at Newmarket to conclude his two-year-old season when finishing over three lengths clear of Alyanaabi in the G1 Dewhurst. There are massive hopes in 2024 for this son of Justify, and connections have already teased a path that no other horse has ever trodden. 

City of Troy will start his season in the G1 2,000 Guineas, before attempting to land a second Classic success in the G1 Epsom Derby. O’Brien has teased that the horse’s attention will then switch to the dirt, with runs in the G1 Travers and G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic both on the agenda. 

He won’t be in the Kentucky Derby though, as you can see here: https://www.twinspires.com/kentuckyderby/betting/ 


Away from the Mullins dominance at the Cheltenham Festival, there was also success for Irish trained Teahupoo. The seven-year-old was the hot favorite for trainer Gordon Elliott in the G1 Stayers’ Hurdle, and he delivered a dominant performance to finish nearly four lengths clear of Flooring Porter. 

There remains a huge deal to be excited about when it comes to this runner, as he could become only the second horse to win back-to-back editions of the race since 2013. His record on track is extremely dominant, winning ten from 15 career starts, and he is as capable over a shorter trip after besting Impaire Et Passe over two miles four in the G1 Hatton’s Grace. 

Staying hurdlers don’t tend to reach their peak until slightly later in their careers, meaning that further successes at home in Ireland and at Cheltenham appear to be on the agenda further down the line. 

Auguste Rodin

Aidan O’Brien’s star was brighter than ever throughout the 2023 flat season, with the maestro training winners in countless Group 1 races across the world. However, it would be hard to argue against the sentiment that his stable star throughout the campaign was Auguste Rodin

The four-year-old was incredibly impressive as a two-year-old, winning across a range of distance on all ground. However, expectations surrounding his chances of bug race wins were limited after a sub-par return to action when finishing toward the back in the G1 2,000 Guineas. But, he responded to those doubts with a sensational run in the G1 Epsom Derby, beating King Of Kingsfield by just under a length. 

Auguste Rodin would later land victories in the G1 Irish Derby and G1 Irish Champion Stakes to end the campaign in Europe. However, further success was achieved in North America when Ryan Moore delivered one of the best rides of the year to get the three-year-old up in time to land the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Big targets are on the horizon this season, including a tilt at the G1 Dubai Sheema Classic. Connections will then target success in the G1 King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, before attempting to win a second straight Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar.

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