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O'Brien eyes huge Champion prize

Aidan O'Brien has a strong team of possible contenders entered for the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on October 15.

The master of Ballydoyle could run any of Await The Dawn, Cape Blanco, So You Think, Windsor Palace, Recital, Treasure Beach or the filly Misty For Me.

Jim Bolger has left in his teak-tough Banimpire, while Sir Michael Stoute could use the race as a comeback point for the Queen's beaten Derby favourite Carlton House, with his owner due to be in attendance.

The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe's loss could be Ascot's gain as John Gosden's Nathaniel remains among 26 entries for the richest race ever to be run in Britain.

With scorching weather in France making the impressive King George winner an uncertain participant at Longchamp, he could sign off his three-year-old career at the scene of his finest triumph.

Gosden needs to decide on Thursday morning whether or not to stump up the 100,000 euros it would cost to add him to the Arc field.

Others waiting for him at Ascot will be Sir Henry Cecil's Juddmonte International one-two Twice Over, who has won the Champion Stakes twice at Newmarket, and Midday.

Godolphin look to hold a strong hand with the unbeaten Dubai Prince, back-to-form Casamento and the improving French Navy among their team.

Snow Fairy is engaged for Ed Dunlop if for some reason she does not run in the Arc, while William Haggas' Green Destiny is likely to have his first run at the highest level. Michael Bell's globetrotter Wigmore Hall, Charlie Hills' Ransom Note and the Arc-bound Reliable Man are others to note in a classy field.


From Belfast Telegraph