Headman, magical and the Elarqam are One of 11 horses Supported for Its Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Aidan O’Brien has saddled a listing seven winners of Saturday showpiece, and Magical appears his contender for this year’s renewal following Japan, who looks set to head to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was withdrawn by the Ballydoyle handler.
Magical kicked off her campaign with three consecutive wins – finishing her hat-trick from the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May.
The girl of Galileo has filled the runner-up place on each of her three subsequent starts – chasing home Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes before finding foe Permit too strong in the Coral-Eclipse in Sandown and the Yorkshire Oaks.
The trainer’s son, Donnacha O’Brien, has not ridden Magical competitively in two or more decades, but could be on board that weekend should Ryan Moore stay to ride at the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster.
O’Brien junior stated: »She’s a really tough, consistent mare and she gives her finest running each moment. Her form is up there with all the finest bar Empower, in the planet, so she appears to be moving there with a shout.
« Obviously I’m unsure what is going to show up however, but she looks like the one which they are totally going to need to beat.
« She’s an outstanding mare – she’s probably up there with the very best that I have ridden. She’s just very unlucky to be in the two years that Enable was. You are not going to have fillies.
« She is a wonderful mare and she has been a terrific servant . »
O’Brien has 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 using the Headman following the latter was inserted into the field at Tuesday’s supplementary phase joined from the Mark Johnston-trained Elarqam of Roger Charlton.
While Elarqam produced a career-best performance to complete a close-up third at York a month headman has earned his measure up to the level by winning Group 2 prizes in France.
Elarqam is one of two runners for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, along with the stable celebrity Madhmoon of Kevin Prendergast.
The potential field is completed by Western raider Deirdre – winner of the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.
Another Group One about Longines Irish Champions Weekend’s launching evening is the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.
With 1000 Guineas heroine Hermosa the coach’s very first series, o’Brien accounts for six of those 10 fillies still in contention – ahead of Goddess, I Will Fly, Happen Beautiful and Coral Beach.
Donnacha O’Brien stated of Hermosa: »She is in fantastic shape. She’s had a bit of a break, the past few weeks, along with her work seems to be really, really good because – probably as good as I’ve felt her year, so she seems to be moving there with a huge possibility. »
The one to overcome would be Karl Burke’s defending champion and six-time Group One winner Laurens, who inflicted a shock defeat Alpha Centauri.
Joseph O’Brien’s set of Red Tea and Iridessa and also the John Oxx-trained Skitter Scatter would be another hopefuls.
The Clipper Logistics Boomerang Stakes is still a powerful Group 2, using Lancaster House – that claimed his unbeaten record at Listowel – among 19 horses.
Other contenders include Dermot Weld’s Imaging, the Surrounding of Mick Halford along with David O’Meara’s Suedois.
Although Buckhurst is a player for Joseph O’Brien in the Group Three Paddy Power Betting Shop Stakes A Aidan O’Brien squad in the Group 2 KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes includes winner Cormorant.
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