Headman magical and the Elarqam are among 11 horses confirmed 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his competitor for this year’s renewal after Japan, who looks set to head directly to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was withdrawn by the Ballydoyle handler.
Magical kicked off her campaign – completing her hat-trick from the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May.
Galileo’s daughter has stuffed the spot on every one of her three starts – chasing dwelling Crystal Ocean at the Prince of Wales’s Stakes before locating old foe Permit too strong in the Coral-Eclipse at the Yorkshire Oaks and Sandown.
Donnacha O’Brien, the coach’s kid, hasn’t ridden Magical competitively in two or more years, but might be on board that this weekend ought to Ryan Moore stay to ride at the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.
O’Brien junior explained:”She’s a very demanding, constant mare and she gives her best running each moment. Her kind is up there with the best bar Permit, in the world, so that she seems to be moving there with a shout.
“Obviously I’m not sure what’s going to show up yet, but she seems like the one that they are totally going to have to beat.
“She’s an outstanding mare – she’s probably up there with the best that I’ve ridden. She’s just very unfortunate to be that Enable was. You’re not likely to get fillies.
“She’s a great mare and she’s been a wonderful servant for us.”
O’Brien has also left in 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, Magic Wand, Investec Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck, Hunting Horn and Pink Dogwood.
There is set for a powerful challenge, with the Headman after the latter was added to the area at Tuesday’s supplementary stage, combined by the Mark Johnston-trained Elarqam of Roger Charlton.
Headman has earned his step up to the maximum degree while Elarqam produced a career-best performance to finish a close-up third at the Juddmonte International at York a month.
Elarqam is among two likely runners for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, combined with Kevin Prendergast star Madhmoon.
The possible field is completed by raider Deirdre – winner of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
The Group One about Longines Irish Champions Weekend’s opening day is your Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.
O’Brien is responsible for six of the 10 fillies still in contention, using 1000 Guineas heroine Hermosa seemingly the trainer string – forward of Goddess, I Can Fly, Simply Wonderful, Happen and Coral Beach.
Donnacha O’Brien said of Hermosa:”She’s in terrific shape. She has had a little bit of a break, the past few weeks, and her work seems to be really, really great since – probably as good as I’ve felt her all yearold, so she looks to be going there with a large chance.”
The best way to beat is Karl Burke’s defending champion and six-time Group One winner Laurens, who inflicted a shock defeat in last year’s renewal on Alpha Centauri.
Joseph O’Brien’s pair of Red Tea and Iridessa and also the John Oxx-trained Skitter Scatter will be the hopefuls.
The Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes is currently a Group Two, with Lancaster House – who claimed his unbeaten record at Listowel – among 19 horses going forward.
Other contenders include Dermot Weld’s Imaging, Mick Halford’s Surrounding along with David O’Meara’s Suedois.
A Aidan O’Brien squad at the Group 2 KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes includes course-and-distance winner Cormorant, although Buckhurst is a participant for Joseph O’Brien in the Group Three Paddy Power Betting Shop Stakes.
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