Irish Champions Weekend: Point Lonsdale takes on Native Trail and Ebro River in bid for top billing at the Curragh

Point Lonsdale faces six rivals for first Group One test, the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes; Native Trail, Ebro River and Great Max make up trio of British challengers; Search For A Song goes for third consecutive Irish St Leger

Point Lonsdale is unbeaten in four starts this season
Image: Point Lonsdale is unbeaten in four starts this season

Point Lonsdale is one of the many stars on show on a mouth-watering second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh.

Unbeaten in four starts to date, Aidan O'Brien's colt already tops ante-post lists for both next year's 2000 Guineas and the Derby.

The son of Australia is set to face six rivals as he steps up to Group One level for the first time in Sunday's Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes - including a trio of British challengers in Ebro River, Great Max and Native Trail.

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Hugo Palmer's Ebro River is already a Group One winner, having landed last month's Keeneland Phoenix Stakes over a furlong shorter at the same track, while Native Trail will bid to provide Charlie Appleby with a third National Stakes success following the recent triumphs of Quorto (2018) and Pinatubo (2019).

Great Max represents Michael Bell, with Duke De Sessa (Dermot Weld), Anatoli (John Feane) and Ultramarine (Joseph O'Brien) the other hopefuls.

Go Bears Go (purple) is beaten by Ebro River (near side) in the Phoenix Stakes
Image: Ebro River (near side) wins the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh

The juvenile fillies get their chance to shine in the preceding Moyglare Stud Stakes, in which Aidan O'Brien saddles both Concert Hall and Prettiest.

The standard is set by Joseph O'Brien's Debutante Stakes heroine Agartha, with course-and-distance scorer Cairde Go Deo (Ger Lyons) and once-raced maiden winner Homeless Songs (Weld) also in contention.

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The first of four Group Ones on a stellar card is the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, which sees Tim Easterby's Winter Power bid to follow up her Nunthorpe victory of last month.

She is joined on the trip across the Irish Sea by Kevin Ryan's defending champion Glass Slippers, as well as Dragon Symbol (Archie Watson), Rohaan (David Evans) and Significantly (Karl Burke) - while the home team is headed by Joe Murphy's course favourite Gustavus Weston.

The Weld-trained Search For A Song will bid for a third successive win in the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger.

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She is one of 14 runners declared for the one-mile-six-furlong Classic, with Joseph O'Brien's pair of Twilight Payment and Baron Samedi and Johnny Murtagh's Ebor hero Sonnyboyliston chief among her rivals.

Aidan O'Brien's multiple Group One winner Love, meanwhile, has her sights lowered for the Group Two Blandford Stakes.

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