Irish Sunday Mirror - - SPORTS - BY RYAN MCELLIGOTT

ROAR­ING LION stole the show with an epic suc­cess over old ri­val Saxon War­rior in the QIPCO Ir­ish Cham­pion Stakes at Leop­ard­stown yes­ter­day evening.

In a race where the pace stead­ied up quite a bit early on, Saxon War­rior en­joyed the per­fect trip in sec­ond and he kicked for home early in the straight.

That left Roar­ing Lion and Oisin Mur­phy with sev­eral lengths to find on the Bal­ly­doyle inmate but the odds on favourite was equal to the task.

He pro­duced a tremen­dous change of gear to draw along­side Saxon War­rior with a fur­long to run and he kept find­ing all the way to the line to score by a neck.

The 40/1 out­sider Deauville ran a huge race to se­cure third while the French Derby hero Study Of Man had to set­tle for fifth.

“Once he bal­anced up he was go­ing to win but it was tac­ti­cal,” said Mur­phy, who ear­lier rode his first Ir­ish win­ner on Li­mini. “He’s just an ex­cep­tional horse.” Ear­lier, home favourite Al­pha Cen­tauri was shocked by the Eng­lish raider Lau­rens in the Group 1 Ma­tron Stakes.

The Karl Burke-trained win­ner got home by three parts of a length from Al­pha Cen­tauri, who was found to be clin­i­cally ab­nor­mal post race.

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