Latest Racing News
Nathaniel adds further spice to Champion Stakes
NATHANIEL was the sole second entry for the €750,000 Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 8.
At the Curragh on Sunday, 24 hours after Nathaniel had been beaten a nose by Danedream in his quest for a second consecutive win in the King George V1 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, trainer John Gosden highlighted the Leopardstown event amongst the possible targets for the four year old.
The son of Galileo was added to the 1m 2f event at yesterday's €20,000 second entry stage whereas a supplementary entry on September 3 would have cost €75,000.
Gosden has already trained a winner of the Irish Champion Stakes having sent out Mujtarram to score under Willie Carson in 1993.
Nathaniel is one of 33 horses going forward for the race which has been dominated by Aidan O'Brien. The Ballydoyle trainer has been successful on seven occasions and will be seeking a third consecutive win having won with Cape Blanco in 2010 and So You Think last year.
Speaking at the launch of Irish Champion Stakes day in the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Powerscourt Co Wicklow yesterday, O'Brien, who has 12 horses left in the race, said: "It is early days yet and there are no definite plans, but I'd imagine St Nicholas Abbey, Imperial Monarch and possibly Maybe will be horses we'll be looking at for what is always one of the most important and best races of the season."
The Ballydoyle 12 includes Camelot but the Ladbrokes St Leger remains his likely target. "Nothing is finalised but it looks as if the St Leger will probably be Camelot's next race," O'Brien said.
Dermot Weld, who has yet to include the Group 1 Leopardstown event on his CV, said: " A lot will depend on the ground but Princess Highway may well take her chance as 1m 2f on genuine good ground would suit her well."
Princess Highway landed the Ribblesdale Stakes by six lengths at Royal Ascot last month before finishing third behind Great Heavens and Shirocco Star in the Darley Irish Oaks on testing ground at the Curragh on Sunday.
The remaining entries for the race, which is being sponsored by Red Mills for the second time, also include Cirrus Des Aigles, Monterosso, Reliable Man, Twice Over, Snow Fairy, Born To Sea and Parish Hall.
Irish Champion Stakes day will have two new sponsors this year with KPMG sponsoring the Group 3 KPMG Enterprise Stakes, which was formerly the Kilternan Stakes, over 1m 2f and ICON plc sponsoring theListed ICON Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Trial which used to be run as the Golden Fleece Stakes.
Terence O'Rourke, managing partner of KPMG in Ireland, said: "KPMG are delighted to support this outstanding meeting and in doing so, we recognise the great contribution of the bloodstock and related sectors to the Irish economy."’