Magical, Headman and the Elarqam are among 11 horses Supported for Its Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Aidan O’Brien has saddled a seven winners of Saturday’s 10-furlong showpiece, and Magical appears his chief competitor for this year’s renewal after Japan, that now looks set to go directly to the Prix de Triomphe was withdrawn by the Ballydoyle handler.
Magical kicked off her campaign with three wins – finishing her hat-trick from the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
Galileo’s daughter has stuffed the runner-up spot on every one of her three starts – chasing house Crystal Ocean at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes before finding old foe Enable too strong in the Coral-Eclipse at the Yorkshire Oaks and Sandown.
The trainer’s kid, Donnacha O’Brien, has not ridden Magical reluctantly in more than two decades, but might be on board this weekend ought to Ryan Moore stay in Britain to ride at the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.
O’Brien junior explained:”She is a very tough, constant mare and she provides her greatest running each moment. Her form is up there with the finest in the world, bar Empower, so that she appears to be going there with a huge shout.
“Obviously I’m unsure what’s going to appear yet, but she looks like the one that they are all going to need to beat.
“She’s an outstanding mare – she’s probably up there with the best that I’ve ridden. She’s just very unlucky to be in the same two years that Enable was. You’re not going to get fillies like this every year.
“She is a wonderful mare and she has been a great servant .”
O’Brien has also left in Pink Dogwood, Magic Wand, Investec Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck, 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia and Horn.
There’s set to be a powerful challenge, together with the Headman after the latter was added to the area at Tuesday phase, joined by the Mark Johnston-trained Elarqam of Roger Charlton.
While Elarqam produced a operation to complete a close-up third at the Juddmonte International at York last month, headman has earned his step up to the highest degree by winning Group 2 prizes in France.
Elarqam is among two likely runners for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, combined with Kevin Prendergast’s stable star Madhmoon.
The field is finished by Western raider Deirdre – winner of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
The Group One on the launching evening of Longines Irish Champions Weekend is the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.
O’Brien is responsible for half the 10 fillies still in contention, with dual 1000 Guineas heroine Hermosa seemingly the trainer’s first series – forward of Goddess, I Will Fly, Happen, Just Wonderful and Coral Beach.
Donnacha O’Brien stated of Hermosa:”She is in terrific shape. She has had a tiny bit of a break, the past few weeks, and her work seems to be really, really great since – probably like I’ve felt her all yearold, so she seems to be moving there with a large chance.”
The best way is six-time Group One winner Laurens, who inflicted a shock defeat on Alpha Centauri in last season’s renewal and Karl Burke’s defending champion.
Joseph O’Brien’s pair of the John Oxx-trained Skitter Scatter and Iridessa along with Red Tea will be another hopefuls.
The Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes is still a Group 2, using Lancaster House – who claimed his unbeaten record on Monday at Listowel – among 19 horses moving.
Other contenders include Dermot Weld’s Imaging, Mick Halford’s Surrounding along with David O’Meara’s Suedois.
Although Buckhurst is a participant for Joseph O’Brien at the Group Three Paddy Power Betting Shop Stakes, A Aidan O’Brien squad at the Group Two KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes includes course-and-distance winner Cormorant.
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