Qemah in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown
5.35 Leopardstown, Matron Stakes
Aiden O’Briens Winter, who is the even money favourite, is going to be tough to beat in this year’s renewal of the Matron Stakes. Alice Springs was an impressive winner in this race last for the trainer, but that was only the second win in this race for O’Brien and for a trainer with such talent that dominates the classics in both England and Ireland, winning this race isn’t a main priority. O’Brien has already stated that Winter may not be 100% for this, so it could pay to look elsewhere for the winner.
Even if Winter doesn’t win this race for O’Brien he still looks favourite to win it with horses like Roly Poly, Hydrangea and Rhododendron as back-ups.
Qemah ran in this race last year and was sent off favourite when looking for her third group 1, but she could only finish third. I’m willing to give her another chance this year as she failed to settle and then found herself boxed in on the rail when trying to come with a run. Her trainer, Jean-Claude Rouget wouldn’t be bringing her back here after a disappointing run last time unless he thought she had a really good chance of winning this time. She has had an indifferent season this year, winning just one of her three starts and is not one to trust at short odds having been beaten as favourite 5 times in 7 races. The last three times she has been sent off unfancied and not as favourite she has won at odds of 11/4, 6/1 and 4/1.
Today’s race looks likely to be run at a strong pace which should really help Qemah settle, she is a best priced 7/1 for today’s race which has to be worth chancing.
Qemah 7/1 generally