MAGICAL stamped her class on the Group 1 Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot.
Aidan O’Brien’s ultra-consistent four-year-old won the Fillies & Mares Stakes on the corresponding card 12 months ago, since when she has boosted her Group 1 tally with victories in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and Irish Champion Stakes.
During the same period she has finished second to old foe Enable in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Coral-Eclipse and the Yorkshire Oaks, as well as filling the runner-up spot behind Crystal Ocean at Royal Ascot and finishing fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Turning out less than a fortnight after her latest appearance in Paris, there might have been doubts about whether Magical would be able to produce her brilliant best in the testing conditions, but she got the job done in the hands of Donnacha O’Brien.
The even-money favourite travelled powerfully on the heels of the pace-setting Regal Reality for much of the 10-furlong contest before being nudged to the front in the straight.
Confirmed mud-lover Addeybb emerged as the most serious danger, but try as he might, he could never quite get on terms with Magical, who found enough for pressure to emerge victorious by three-quarters of a length.
Japanese mare Deirdre ran a fine race to finish third, with the lightly-raced Fox Tal also emerging with credit in fourth.