Aidan O'Brien Has Strong Team For Champions Day

Champion Stakes

Champions Day is right around the corner and leading trainer Aidan O'Brien will be looking to round off the flat season in style by sending a strong team of runners to Ascot on Saturday.

Japan has been one of the Ballydoyle handlers stable stars this season landing back to back Group Ones in the Prix du Jockey Club over in France and the Juddmonte International at York before finishing a decent fourth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe last time out.

With many tough races in such a shot period of time it does not look likely that the three year old will be seen again this year with the Champion Stakes a race being mentioned for him but it now looks like he will be rested for a stellar four year old campaign.

(Credit Racing Post) Trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "We'll be making a decision regarding plans for Japan in the next couple of days, but it's quite possible he won't run again this year."

However in the Group One contest O'Brien said: "We still have to finalise plans for Ascot and nothing is set in stone, but it looks as if Magical and I Can Fly might run in the Champion Stakes. Magna Grecia is going for the QEII, while Circus Maximus will probably be kept for the Breeders' Cup Mile."

In the Fillies and Mares he holds another strong hand of runners with second in the Prix de l'Opera Fleeting looking like his best chance with Epsom Oaks second Pink Dogwood and Delphinia also having entries in the race with the latter also holding a place in the Long Distance Cup.

As for the marathon contest and other contests the Irishman said: "Kew Gardens, Capri and South Pacific are all under consideration for the Long Distance Cup, while So Perfect, who was second in the Prix de l'Abbaye, will run in the Sprint."

A horse that has been less than impressive at the back end of the season is Hermosa, the dual 1000 Guineas winner is unlikely to run again this season and could be kept in training for 2020 with her only being a three year old.

However she does hold entries in the Fillies & Mares, the QEII and the Champion Stakes but it looks as if a late decision on the filly will be made closer to the race day.