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Stellar entry for Irish Champion

Published 27/05/2015

The Grey Gatsby winning last year's Irish Champion Stakes
The Grey Gatsby winning last year's Irish Champion Stakes

A host of big names have been entered for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 12.

John Gosden has put in his two Investec Derby contenders Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs, while another leading Epsom hope features in the shape of the Andrew Balding-trained Elm Park.

Lockinge Stakes winner Night Of Thunder adds to the British challenge, as do St Leger winner Kingston Hill and last year's winner The Grey Gatsby.

Dual Guineas hero Gleneagles heads a strong Aidan O'Brien challenge, as the Ballydoyle trainer bids to add to his record haul of seven victories in the race. Dermot Weld has put in his Epsom Derby hope Zawraq, along with the exciting Free Eagle.

Other notable Irish entries include David Wachman's Newmarket Guineas heroine Legatissimo, Jim Bolger's Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach and Ken Condon's Success Days, as well as Ger Lyons' Irish 2,000 Guineas second Endless Drama.

Seven Japanese entries feature, headed by Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, the second highest-rated horse in the world last year, and Japan Derby winner One And Only.

Three-time Group One winner Criterion could become the first horse trained in Australia to run in Ireland.

Popular gelding Cirrus Des Aigles and Karakontie, winner of the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November, stand out among an entry of six from France.

Leopardstown chief executive Pat Keogh said: "We are all looking forward to the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes which is the feature race on the first day of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend.

"Last year five Group One winners took part in a thrilling contest when The Grey Gatsby just prevailed.

"We are delighted to see so many top-quality horses entered this year and it is particularly pleasing to see the international spread of entries including horses from Japan and Australia.

"The race is currently rated in the top 10 in the world and this looks like being another vintage renewal of this famous race."

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