“We are delighted with the depth and breadth of entries across the weekend, today’s final entries and forfeits reveal what will be a thrilling weekend of top class action. The supporting races are equally as strong and the weekend is shaping up to become a world-class sporting event.”
A typically strong overseas and home-trained
contingent are set to contest the two Group 1 races on Longines
Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Ghaiyyath is on course for a fourth consecutive Group 1 success in the Irish
Champion Stakes on the opening day of the meeting at Leopardstown on Saturday.
His trainer, Charlie Appleby, revealed at lunchtime on Tuesday, “Ghaiyyath will
work tomorrow morning, we will have a final discussion then and if everyone is
happy our intention is to fly to Dublin on Saturday morning.”
Godolphin's superstar became the highest-rated horse in the world when adding
the Juddmonte International at York last month to earlier top-level wins in the
Coronation Cup at Newmarket and Sandown’s Coral-Eclipse.
The main opposition to Ghaiyyath is expected to come from the horses he beat
into second and third place respectively at York, the Aidan O'Brien-trained
Magical, winner of the Irish Champion Stakes last year, and John Gosden’s Lord
Jean-Claude Rouget won the Irish Champion Stakes with Almanzor in 2016 and he
will run last year’s French Derby winner Sottsass, a winner again at Chantilly
in the Group 1 Prix Ganay in June while Barney Roy could accompany stable
companion Ghaiyyath on the trip to Dublin.
In all, 13 horses have stood their ground for the Irish Champion Stakes with
Anthony Van Dyck, Japan, Magic Wand, Vatican City and Armory still in the race
for Aidan O'Brien, Jessica Harrington has Leo De Fury and Joseph O'Brien could
yet call upon Buckhurst and Degraves.
The Donnacha O'Brien-trained Fancy Blue and Aidan O'Brien’s Peaceful head an
entry of 13 for the Group 1 Coolmore America 'Justify' Matron Stakes. There was
little between the pair in the French Oaks at Chantilly last time. Aidan
O'Brien has four horses remaining in the race with Magic Wand, Love Locket and
So Wonderful in with a chance of joining his Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas
Joseph O'Brien has left A New Dawn, Wilds Dreams and New York Girl with both
Champers Elysees and Know It All in the mix for Johnny Murtagh. Jessica
Harrington has both Albigna and Valeria Messalina with the Fozzy Stack-trained
Lady Wannabe completing the latest line up ahead of Thursday’s declaration
Tim Husbands, CEO of Leopardstown Racecourse, said: “We are delighted with the
depth and breadth of entries across the weekend, today’s final entries and
forfeits reveal what will be a thrilling weekend of top class action. The
supporting races are equally as strong and the weekend is shaping up to become
a world-class sporting event.”
@jess_lanigan Thanks a million Jess it was great fun for us as well 😀
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