Irish Champion Stakes

The Irish Champion Stakes are the highlight of the late Irish flat racing season. Hosted at Dublin's Leopardstown Racecourse annually in September, the Irish Champion Stakes are open to thoroughbred horses of either gender aged three years and older. The Irish Champion Stakes run over a distance of one mile and two furlongs and awards the impressive purse of €1 million.

When the Irish Champion Stakes were introduced in 1976 - making it one of the newest championships of thoroughbred racing in the United Kingdom - it was known as the Joe McGrath Memorial Stakes - named after the infamous racehorse owner and founder of the Irish Hospitals' Sweepstake. In 1984 the name was changed to Phoenix Champion Stakes - as the race was briefly relocated from Leopardstown to Phoenix Park Racecourse. Since 1991, the year the race returned to Leopardstown Racecourse, the event is known as the Irish Champion Stakes. However, the Irish Champion Stakes has always been classified as a Group 1 race.

The current equine champion of Irish Champion Stakes history is Aidan O'Brien-trained Dylan Thomas. The great colt is the only thoroughbred to date to win the Irish Champion Stakes more than once, racing to victory in 2006 and 2007. Jockey Michael Kinane has risen to legend status at the Irish Champion Stakes over the past 20 years, riding no less than seven winners at the event.

Recent Winners of the Irish Champion Stakes:

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time


Sea The Stars

Michael Kinane

John Oxx



New Approach

Kevin Manning

Jim Bolger



Dylan Thomas

Kieren Fallon

Aidan O'Brien



Dylan Thomas

Kieren Fallon

Aidan O'Brien




Kieren Fallon

Aidan O'Brien


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