Leopardstown were thrilled to announce today that Coolmore have extended their support of the Group 1 Matron Stakes which features on Day 1 of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown Racecourse. The race name has been amended to feature American Triple Crown Winner, Justify, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
are delighted to be maintaining all of our Irish race sponsorships at pre-Covid
levels including the flagship Coolmore America Justify Matron
Stakes,” said Coolmore’s David O’Loughlin. “Coolmore America is in the
incredible position of standing the only two Triple Crown winners at stud.
American Pharoah has already enjoyed fantastic success on both sides of the
Atlantic with his first crop and as the best son of Royal Ascot phenomenon Scat
Daddy, we expect the same from Justify in due course.”
The Coolmore America Justify Matron Stakes has been voted the highest rated race for Fillies and Mares by the Longines World Thoroughbred Rankings on two occasions since it was upgraded to a Group 1 in 2004. Previous winners of this race have not only
been great race mares, but have been some of the most illustrious, elite mares to grace the turf during the twentieth century.
Multiple Group 1 winners Attraction, Soviet Song and Red Evie, each won a renewal of this race during a rich era for fillies in the early 2000’s. Attraction, an English and Irish Guineas winner was defeated by Soviet Song in the 2004 renewal of the Matron Stakes, but gained success the following year. Soviet Song, a three-time Group 1 winner coming into the 2004 Matron Stakes went on to great success over a mile as an older filly. Red Evie arrived at the 2006 Matron Stakes on a six-race winning streak and dually gained her first Group 1 success defeating the Cheveley Park Stud owned Peeress by a head. Red Evie came back to Leopardstown in 2007 to regain her title, only to find Echelon, coincidently also owned by Cheveley Park Stud, too good on the day. Red Evie was subsequently purchased by Coolmore Stud on her retirement and has since gone on to be a wonderful broodmare producing the exceptional Found.
British trained horses have taken 10 renewals of the race since 2000, subsequently going on to further success after victory; Laurens defeated triple Group 1 winner Alpha Centauri before going on to win the Sun Chariot at Newmarket and the Prix Rothschild in Deauville the following year. Most recently Irish trained fillies have dominated the Coolmore Matron Stakes with equine stars such Legatissimo, Hydrangea and Alice Springs who have all produced scintillating victories, adding to their already outstanding pedigrees.
The 2019 winner Iridessa trained by Joseph O’Brien won the Pretty Polly Stakes en route to victory in the Coolmore Matron Stakes and she then ended a terrific season with a win in the Breeders’ Cup Fillies and Mares Turf, giving her trainer the accolade of becoming the youngest trainer of a Breeders’ Cup winner and one of only two trainers to have ridden a Breeders’ Cup winner and gone on to train one.
Justify, a son of the ill-fated Coolmore stallion Scat Daddy, retired undefeated and became Champion 3yo in USA after completing the famous treble of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes – the Triple Crown. This gruelling trio of races is run between May and June and over 9½f-12f. Winning the Triple Crown is a unique feat that is only achieved by the toughest, soundest and most talented horses – thirty seven years had passed between Affirmed in 1978 and American Pharoah winning the Triple crown in 2015. After this American Pharoah’s trainer Bob Baffert only had to wait 3 years to achieve this feat again, with the unbeaten Justify. The only American triple crown winner to retire to stud unbeaten.
Tim Husbands MBE, Leopardstown CEO,
said, “We are very grateful for the continued support of Coolmore with their
sponsorship of the Coolmore America Justify Matron Stakes. This race is a
highlight of Longines Irish Champions Weekend and is consistently one of the
leading fillies and mares’ races in the world. The success of Longines Irish
Champions Weekend would not be possible without our partners and Coolmore are
an integral part of this.”