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Leopardstown set to be a Magical day

 

Magical is poised to lead Aidan O'Brien's bid for an eighth victory in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown with star stablemate Japan likely to wait for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. (stock photo)
Magical is poised to lead Aidan O'Brien's bid for an eighth victory in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown with star stablemate Japan likely to wait for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. (stock photo)

By Graham Clark

Magical is poised to lead Aidan O'Brien's bid for an eighth victory in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown with star stablemate Japan likely to wait for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Having seen off the admirable Crystal Ocean in an pulsating renewal of the Juddmonte International at York last month, Japan is currently priced up as the 9-4 favourite for the feature event in Ireland on Saturday week.

However, O'Brien indicated he could head straight to Paris in early October and Magical could instead line up as his chief hope at the Dublin circuit on the opening day of Irish Champions Weekend.

The latter completed a hat-trick for the season in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May, since when she has chased home Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot and her old foe Enable in the Coral-Eclipse and the Yorkshire Oaks.

O'Brien said: "The plan for Magical was always to go to York, then go to the Irish Champion and if all goes well then go to the Arc. We have been very happy with her.

"We knew we weren't going to run her against Japan (in the Juddmonte International), so we knew we were going to have to supplement her for the Yorkshire Oaks, and the next thing John (Gosden) is going there with Enable. It is not definite that Japan won't go to the Irish Champion, but it is possible he will go straight to the Arc. I would be leaning towards doing that a little a bit, but we won't rule out the Irish Champion.

"He is only a three-year-old and we don't want to over-tax him. He is progressing and we want to give him a chance to keep progressing."

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