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Australia can set sail for glory at Champions

By Martin Kelly

On what is a jam-packed day, Leopardstown host the first card of the inaugural Irish Champions Weekend tomorrow and Australia should make sure the two-day extravaganza gets off to a perfect start.

Aidan O'Brien's star should really be notching a fourth Group One victory in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes after demonstrating his prowess over 10 furlongs with an impressive win in the International at York.

Connections said he was not fully fit that day so his rivals should be concerned about just how good he will be with a full prep under his belt this time.

Rizeena should appreciate the return to ladies-only company in the Coolmore Matron Stakes after finding Kingman far too good in France last time.

Beaten just under four lengths on unsuitable ground that day, a repeat of that form should give her every chance.

Meanwhile, Denis Cullen plundered yesterday's claimer at Clonmel with 20/1 shot Table Forty Six. Scoring for a third time under the apprentice since being bought by his father Denis two years ago, the eight-year-old poached an early lead and held on gamely to deny Gun Shoot.

Dermot Weld's Nidhaam then justified 5/4 favouritism from the front under Pat Smullen over the same 10-furlong trip, taking the champion jockey-elect 25 winners clear of reigning title holder Joseph O'Brien.

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