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Dublin: 13 °C Monday 21 May, 2018

Decorated Knight causes major upset to take Champion stakes at Leopardstown

The five-year-old came from the rear of the pack in the Irish champion race.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DECORATED KNIGHT CAUSED a major upset at Leopardstown this weekend, when he surged forward from the rear to win the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes.

Eminent led from the early stages right up until the last furlong, and was closely followed by race favourite Churchill.

But with Andrea Atzeni aboard, Decorated Knight made a charge for victory over the final stretch. He was followed by Poet’s Word who took second place, meaning Eminent would have to settled for third.

This victory marked a second Group One in 2017 for Roger Charlton’s five-year-old, who had been beaten three times since lifting the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport after the shock win, Atzeni said:

“He had a bad draw and we thought the ground would be too soft, we didn’t know whether to run him or not but it’s actually nice ground out there.

“It’s great for the owners and obviously Mr Charlton has done a great job with him.”

Elsewhere at Leopardstown, Hydrangea defeated stablemate Winter to deliver a surprise win in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.

In the earlier fixtures, Laws of Spin took the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Petingo’ Handicap, while Eziyra romped home to victory in the KPMG Enterprise Stakes.

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