Irish Champion Stakes

The Irish Champion Stakes is a Group 1 race for three-year-olds and upwards over ten furlongs at Leopardstown. It takes place in September and often attracts Classic winners from England, Ireland and France.

Aidan O’Brien has been dominant in the Irish Champion Stakes in recent years, winning it a record ten times.

His winners include the only dual winners of the race in Dylan Thomas (2006, 2007) and Magical (2019, 2020). Other notable winners include Sadler’s Wells (1984), Triptych (1987), Suave Dancer (1991), Giant’s Causeway (2000) and Sea The Stars (2009).

Find out more about the Irish Champion Stakes:

Irish Champion Stakes

Race Overview

The Irish Champion Stakes is a Group 1 flat horse race for horses aged three and above that takes place in Ireland every year. Every year in September, it is held at Leopardstown over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs.

Check out our guides to all the other Group One horse races in Ireland.

Irish Champion Stakes Odds

Here are the latest odds for the Irish Champion Stakes in 2022:

  • There is no open book of odds in the ante-post market for this event yet

Irish Champion Stakes Tips

Here are some tips for Irish Champion Stakes in September 2022:

  • 2 points to win for TBC at odds of TBC
  • 1 point each way for TBC at odds of TBC

You will spot horses from the Irish Champion Stakes in more races throughout the year. Watch closely how all these horses perform then go place your bets on ante-post betting.

Famous Irish Champion Stakes Winners

The Irish Champion Stakes was first run in 1976 as the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes at Leopardstown. It was then run as the Phoenix Champion Stakes in 1984 before returning to Leopardstown when that course was closed in 1990.

The race is now one of the most prestigious middle distance races in Europe. It regularly attracts Derby winners and has become a major trial for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Vincent O’Brien trained five of the first nine winners; Inkerman (1978), Fordham (1979), Gregorian (1980), Kings Lake (1981) and Sadler’s Wells (1984).

The incredibly high quality of winners was maintained with the likes of Triptych (1987), Indian Skimmer (1988) and Carroll House (1989). Triptych was trained in France by Patrick Biancone and ridden by Tony Cruz. She was a remarkably tough and consistent filly, earning over $1.5 million in prize money with 14 victories in her 44-race career.

Indian Skimmer was a brilliant grey filly trained by Henry Cecil. She was also a prolific winner with her victories including the French Oaks where she defeated Miesque. Carroll House won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1989.

Epsom Derby winner Dr Devious added his name to the roll of honour in 1992 while other high class winners include Suave Dancer (1991), Pentire (1995), Pilsudski (1997), Swain (1998) and Daylami (1999). The “Iron Horse” Giant’s Causeway was the first winner in the race for trainer Aidan O’Brien in 2000. High Chaparral (2003) and Oratorio (2005) won for the stable before Dylan Thomas won back-to-back runnings in 2006-2007.

New Approach (2008), Sea The Stars (2009) and Golden Horn (2015) all won the Epsom Derby before winning here. Magical became O’Brien’s second dual winner in 2019-2020 and St Mark’s Basilica (2021) made it a hat-trick.

Key Irish Champion Stakes Trials

The most significant guide to the Irish Champion Stakes in recent years has been the Group 1 International Stakes at York. Five of the last twelve winners ran in that event, although only Roaring Lion (2018) had managed to win at the Knavesmire. The talented grey had also won the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown after his stamina ran out in the Epsom Derby, eventually finishing third behind Masar and Dee Ex Bee.

Victory in this race opens up a host of possibilities in the Autumn. Golden Horn (2015) went on to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Cape Blanco (2010), So You Think (2011) and Magical (2019) were all beaten in Paris. Almanzor went on to win the Champion Stakes at Ascot and Roaring Lion won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at the same venue.

Irish Champion Stakes Betting Trends

Three-year-olds have a good record in the Irish Champion Stakes, winning six of the last twelve renewals. Swain (1998), successful at the age of six, is the oldest winner in the history of the race.

Favourites have won five of the last twelve renewals of the Irish Champion Stakes. So You Think started at the prohibitive odds of 1-4 favourite in 2011 while Roaring Lion (2018) and St Mark’s Basilica (2021) were also odds-on at 8-11 and 5-6 respectively. The other successful favourites during this period were Golden Horn (2015) at 5-4 and Magical (2019) at 11-10.

The remaining seven winners were all in the top three in the betting with the exception of 25-1 shot Decorated Knight in 2017. He came from last to first to beat Poet’s Word and Eminent with odds-on favourite Churchill well beaten in seventh place. Class comes to the fore here with the last twelve winners all having previously been successful at least once at Group 1 level. An official rating of 118 or higher is usually required to win this race. The highest rated winner in recent years was John Gosden’s Derby winner Golden Horn on 130.

Irish Champion Stakes – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Aidan O’Brien has dominated this race since Giant’s Causeway provided him with his first Irish Champion Stakes in 2000. St Mark’s Basilica took his tally to a record ten victories in 2021. Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin enjoyed a spell of success with four victories in five seasons between 1998 and 2002 but have not managed to claim the prize since. John Gosden won it with The Fugue (2013), Golden Horn (2015) and Roaring Lion (2018) before O’Brien reasserted with a run of three straight victories.

The leading jockey in the history of the Irish Champion Stakes is Mick Kinane with seven winners; Carroll House (1989), Cezanne (1994), Pilsudski (1997), Giant’s Causeway (2000), High Chaparral (2003), Azamour (2004) and Sea The Stars (2009). Frankie Dettori has won it six times, most recently aboard Golden Horn in 2015.

Best Irish Champion Stakes Betting Sites

The Irish Champion Stakes is one of the highlights of the flat racing season. It always produces an exciting clash between the current Classic crop and the best older horses. The Irish Champion Stakes also provides plenty of clues to the outcome of the top Autumn races like the Arc and the Champion Stakes.

Here are the most popular free bets for Irish Champion Stakes betting:

  • bet365 Horse Racing

    Bet365 Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £50 IN FREE BETS
    Voted the best horse racing website and app by our followers for the past 2 years.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfred Horse Racing

    Betfred Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £60 IN BONUSES
    Great bonuses, odds, deals and customer service make them one of the leading horse betting sites year after year.

    New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • William Hill Horse Racing

    William Hill Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS
    One of the best horse racing bookies in the UK. William Hill are one of our favourites here at British Racecourses.

    18+. Play Safe. From 00:01 on 18.10.2022. £30 bonus. New customers only. Minimum £10 stake on odds of 1/2 (1.5) or greater on sportsbook (excluding Virtual markets). Further terms apply. #ad

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfair Horse Racing

    Betfair Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £30
    Betfair Sportsbook are one of the biggest and best-betting companies in the world for placing bets online.

    Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Spreadex Betting App

    Spreadex Horse Racing Logo
    BET 10 GET 30
    The spread-betting side of things is one of the best on the market and Spreadex should definitely be considered for those looking to dabble on horse racing bets.

    New Customer Offer. T&Cs Apply. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Paddy Power Horse Racing

    Paddy Power Sports Logo
    BET £20 AND GET IT BACK AS CASH IF IT LOSES
    Paddy Power is one of the best online and high street bookmakers in the UK and Ireland.

    New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Football market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
    Full T&C's Apply

  • BoyleSports Horse Racing

    Boyle Sports Horse Racing Logo
    BET £10 GET £20 IN FREE BETS + FREE BET IF 2ND TO SP FAV
    BoyleSports is legitimate market-leading Irish bookmaker with amazing sign up bonuses for new customers.

    New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C’s Apply **18+. UK/IRE customers only. Max refund £/€20. Win or win part of e/w outright singles only. 5 or more runners. 1st bet on each race. Free bet expires after 7 days. Free/void/antepost bets don’t qualify. Unnamed 2nd Favs don’t qualify.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetUK Horse Racing

    BetUK logo
    BET £10 GET £30
    Bet UK is a great sports betting brand with a plethora of online betting markets for hundreds of horse racing events.

    New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • 888 Horse Racing

    888 Horse Racing
    £30 IN FREE BETS + £10 CASINO BONUS
    Regularly voted one of the UK’s best bookies and betting sites, we love the easy-to-use website, best odds, live streaming and variety of sports offered.

    Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets are credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes are not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days, wins are capped at £/€/$500 • To withdraw bonus/related wins, you must wager the bonus amount up to 40 times its value within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Casino Bonus can be used on selected games in casino only • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods & countries.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Ladbrokes Horse Racing

    Ladbrokes Horse Racing
    BET £5 GET £20 IN FREE BETS
    Ladbrokes is firmly established as one of the best horse racing betting sites. If you are looking for a new betting platform or betting app, they are a great choice.

    18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • BetVictor Horse Racing

    Betvictor Horse Racing
    BET £10 GET £40
    Punters love the BetVictor betting site rating it one of the top horse racing betting sites for a whole range of reasons, including BOG, live streaming, tips and more.

    18+ New customers only. Opt in and place a £10 qualifying bet on Horse Racing at odds of 2.00+ within 7 days of registering; excludes cashed out bets. Receive 3x £10 Horse Racing Free Bets, valid on set events only at odds 2.00+. Plus, a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw a max of £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Unibet Horse Racing

    Unibet Horse Racing Logo
    UP TO £40 MONEY BACK
    One of the more new horse racing betting sites UK-wide, Unibet is gathering a lot of new punters and fans, who enjoy its easy-to-use website.

    18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first racing bet loses. Wagering: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Sports bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Coral Horse Racing

    Coral Horse Racing
    GET £20 IN FREE BETS
    Coral is one of the most established and oldest of all UK bookmakers. They have stood the test of time and are of the best online bookmakers you can choose from.

    18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 1x £20 free bets. Free bets available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions apply. 

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betfair Exchange

    Betfair Exchange Logo
    MONEY BACK AS CASH UP TO £20
    The Betfair Exchange allows customers to bet against each other rather than betting against a traditional bookmaker. The £50 free bet for exchange punters is a great sign up bonus.

    Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Payment restrictions apply for the promotion.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Mr Play Sport

    Mr.Play Sport Logo
    BET £10 GET £15
    Looking for a betting website with a different and modern approach? This leading betting site is gaining fans across the UK, check them out today to find out more.

    18+, Welcome Bonus: New Players only, 1st Deposit, Min Deposit: £10, max £15 bonus, valid for 14 days, bets must be placed at a min. odds of 1/1 (2.00) or greater and be settled within 14 days of placement. System bets no eligible.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Parimatch Horse Racing

    Parimatch Logo
    BET £10 GET £35
    One of the new horse racing betting sites around, Parimatch is also one of the best online bookies in the UK. Increasingly popular for all sports betting.

    18+ New customers only. Opt in and bet £10 on any Horse Racing market at odds 2.00+ in 7 days. No cash out. Get 6x £5 Horse Racing free bets+ £5 slot bonus, 20x wagering to withdraw max £250. Free bets expire in 24h and bonuses in 7 days. Card payments only. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Grosvenor Horse Racing

    Grosvenor Sports Logo
    DOUBLE THE ODDS
    New in the world of best sporting betting websites, Grosvenor is quickly gaining a good reputation as one of the best online bookies around.

    New Customer Offer. T&Cs Apply. 18+. Please Gamble Responsibly.

    Full T&C's Apply

  • Betway Horse Racing

    Betway Sports
    UP TO £10 IN FREE BETS
    Betway is another one which made the best online bookie list thanks to a range of sports, great odds, customer service and slick betting app interface.

    New customers only. Min Deposit: £10. First deposit matched up to £10. 1 x wagering at odds of 1.75+ to unlock Free Bet. Debit Card deposits only. Deposit method restrictions apply. This offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered.18+. BeGambleAware.org. Bet The Responsible Way.

    Full T&C's Apply

Summary of Irish Champion Stakes

We hope you have enjoyed our guide to the Irish Champion Stakes.

Find out more on the in-depth list of horse racing fixtures in Ireland 2022.

As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.