September promises to be a stellar month for horse racing fans, with the upcoming calendar packed with a host of top-class action.
The St Leger Stakes at Doncaster in the middle of the month will dominate many of the headlines, but there is plenty going on elsewhere to keep punters enthralled.
Read on as we look at some of the standout races in September, starting with one that falls into the ‘blink and you will miss it’ category.
Haydock Sprint Cup – Haydock – September 9
Shaquille will bid to cement his status as the top sprinter in Europe when he lines up in the Haydock Sprint Cup on September 9.
The Julie Camacho-trained sprinter has had a rapid rise up the ranks, progressing from handicap company to record two successive Group One victories.
The horse notably missed the break at Royal Ascot and Newmarket, but still powered past his rivals to secure stylish wins.
Shaquille has undergone stalls schooling ahead of his next assignment and connections will be hoping that makes all the difference at the Merseyside track.
Irish Champion Stakes – Leopardstown – September 9
Aidan O’Brien will have a strong hand in the Irish Champions Stakes at Leopardstown, with Auguste Rodin and Luxembourg both on course to run in the race.
After recording victories in the English and Irish Derbies, Auguste Rodin ran a listless race in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
O’Brien has backed the horse to bounce back on home soil, but his stablemate could prove troublesome after winning this race last season.
With King of Steel among what is shaping up to be an excellent line-up, the Irish Champions Stakes could be one of the best middle-distance races of the season.
Vincent O’Brien National Stakes – The Curragh – September 10
All eyes will be on another potential O’Brien superstar on September 10 as City Of Troy bids to win the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh.
The horse made a winning debut in a maiden at this course in July, before romping to victory in the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket.
Another impressive win in the National Stakes would keep City Of Troy at the head of the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas.
The Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket would be his next likely target, while a run on dirt at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in November is also a possibility.
Moyglare Stud Stakes – The Curragh – September 10
O’Brien’s Ylang Ylang went into plenty of notebooks after making all to win a fillies maiden at The Curragh at the end of the June.
She subsequently cemented her status as favourite for next year’s fillies’ Classics with a front-running victory in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown.
Ylang Ylang was expected to run in the Debutante Stakes at The Curragh in August, but swerved that engagement in favour of a crack at the Moyglare.
The decision to give the filly more time to recover from her exertions should pay dividends and she looks a good bet to win her first Group One event.
St Leger Stakes – Doncaster – September 16
The John and Thady Gosden stable will have three fancied runners in the St Leger Stakes at Doncaster – Gregory, Arrest and Middle Earth.
Gregory recently finished third behind Continuous in the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York and may struggle to reverse the form at Doncaster.
Arrest is an interesting each-way proposition following his comfortable victory in the Geofrey Freer Stakes at Newbury, while Middle Earth also has place claims.
The son of Roaring Lion was an impressive winner of the Melrose Handicap at York and has now been supplemented for the final Classic of the season.
Middle Park Stakes – Newmarket – September 30
O’Brien could be double-handed in the Middle Park, with City Of Troy and River Tiber both touted as possibles for the race by the Irish trainer.
However, the talented duo may not have things their own way at Newmarket, with recent Group One winner Vandeek expected to line-up in the race.
Trained by Simon and Ed Crisford, the horse was an eye-catching winner of a Nottingham maiden before winning the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.
Vandeek subsequently triumphed in the Prix Morny at Deauville with River Tiber behind in third place and could be tough to stop on his next outing.
Michael specializes in journalism, digital content production and social media management. He has a passion for numerous sports including football, horse racing and ice hockey. Michael currently works on a freelance basis, producing daily content for various outlets within the sports industry.