Aidan O’Brien has confirmed dual Group 1-winning filly Magical as his number one hope for the Qipco Irish Champions Stakes, the feature race on day one of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend on Saturday, September 14th.
O’Brien’s historic Ballydoyle yard was this morning the scene for the launch of the biggest weekend in Irish flat racing. Now in its sixth year, Irish Champions Weekend will feature six Group 1 races and record prize-money over two days of racing at Leopardstown and the Curragh.
O’Brien said: “Magical has had a break since her last run and the plan is for her to either go to the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, with or without a run. We also have Circus Maximus, Japan, Anthony Van Dyck and Sir Dragonet as possible runners.”
O’Brien added: “For the [Coolmore Stud Fastnet Rock] Matron Stakes, we are looking at Hermosa and Just Wonderful while Mount Everest could be one for the Kilternan Stakes.
“Lancaster House will go for the [Clipper Logistics] Boomerang Stakes and Never No More is also a possible there. Lope Y Fernandez and Toronto are two possible runners in the [KPMG] Champions Juvenile Stakes.
“At the Curragh on day two, we are looking at maybe running Armory, Arizona and Royal Lytham in the [Goffs Vincent O'Brien] National Stakes while Love could go for the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
“Both Capri and Kew Gardens are potential runners in the [Comer Group International] Irish St Leger while in the [Group 1 Derrinstown Stud] Flying Five Stakes we have Ten Sovereigns and Fairyland as possibles. We are looking at the [Moyglare “Jewels”] Blandford Stakes for Pink Dogwood and Fleeting.”
An addition to this year’s event is the Pat Smullen Champions Race for Cancer Trials Ireland at the Curragh on September 15th. A.P McCoy, Ruby Walsh, Kieren Fallon, Johnny Murtagh, Richard Hughes, Charlie Swan and Joseph O'Brien are among those already committed to taking part.
MORE BALLYDOYLE NEWS & COMMENT IN THE IRISH FIELD NEXT WEEKEND