Irish Champion Stakes Guide

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Leopardstown - September 11 2020
Leopardstown 15:10
1(3)
William Buick

Ghaiyyath

J:
 
William Buick
T:
 
Charlie Appleby
Age: 5
Weight: 9-9
OR: 130
Days: 24

The son of Dubawi was known last season for jet setting all over the globe to win races which saw him land a Group One in Germany by 14 lengths a Group Two in France and also a Group Three in Meydan.

He headed to the Prix de l'arc de Triomphe on his final start last season and didn't run any sort of race but seems to be a completely different animal this term.

This term he started in the Group One Coronation Cup at Newmarket at the start of June and saw off Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck along with three time Ascot Gold Cup winner Stradivarius, subsequently breaking the track record.

In the first weekend of July he stepped up for another Group One event at Sandown in the Coral Eclipse and although all the talk was about Enable's return, this horse was the one with the headlines after a stunning front running performance.

He stepped up again for the Juddmonte International at York as the favourite to beat and just like the Eclipse he set off in front and could not be caught.

He enters the event with the best form on show and currently the highest rated flat horse on the planet.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/08/20YOR10.5Gd9-61
05/07/20SAN10GF9-31
05/06/20NMK12GF9-01
20/02/20MEY10Gd9-51
06/10/19LON12VSft9-50
Leopardstown - September 11 2020
Leopardstown 15:10
5(5)
Seamie Heffernan

Magical

J:
 
Seamie Heffernan
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 5
Weight: 9-6
OR: 121
Days: 24

Having landed the Champion Stakes last season and running behind Enable in the big middle distance Group Ones during her career, it is now where she is looked at as a serious mare.

Magical made a stellar return to racing having been thought to be heading for retirement, Coolmore operations have given her one more season on the track and it has looked to have paid dividends after she romped home on seasonal debut in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes.

She backed that up in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at The Curragh and although it was not the strongest race it saw her land a hat-trick of black type events.

She took on Ghaiyyath in the Juddmonte International and was no match for the Godolphin Ace and if she is to land back to back renewals of this race she will have to reverse the form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/08/20YOR10.5Gd9-32
26/07/20CUR10Gd/Y9-91
28/06/20CUR10Gd9-121
19/10/19ASC10Sft9-21
06/10/19LON12VSft9-25
Leopardstown - September 11 2020
Leopardstown 15:10
4(1)
Colin Keane

Sottsass

J:
 
Colin Keane
T:
 
J-C Rouget
Age: 4
Weight: 9-9
OR: 119
Days: 28

The only French raider to make the trip over to Leopardstown is Sottsass for Jean-Claude Rouget and the four year old if returning to form could have a big say.

The colt was a star last term landing three contests in a row including the Prix du Jockey Club and then on his final start as a three year old he finished third behind Enable in the Arc.

He came back this term and needed the run finishing a weak fourth in the Group Two Prix d'Harcourt, but got back to winning ways in the Group One Prix Ganay.

He was out muscled last time out in a Group Two at Deauville and although the ground was heavy, he was the big favourite and should have landed the race.

Certainly one to watch at 7/1.

Leopardstown - September 11 2020
Leopardstown 15:10
2(2)
Ryan Moore

Japan

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-9
OR: 121
Days: 49

Japan looks to be one of the stand out options for the AOB yard having gave some stand out performances last season when winning at Royal Ascot in the King Edward VII Stakes and then backing that up in the Juddmonte International.

He went to the Arc and again gave another strong effort to finish fourth in challenging conditions and a lot was expected of him as a four year old.

Like his previous season he needed the run on his first start, fading in the latter stages of the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Ascot but next time out he was back to his best when a narrow third in the Eclipse.

He suffered an injury in the three runner King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and was tailed off behind Enable and Sovereign, but if back to his best should run a big race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
25/07/20ASC12GF9-73
05/07/20SAN10GF9-33
17/06/20ASC10Gd9-04
06/10/19LON12VSft8-134
21/08/19YOR10.5Gd8-131
Leopardstown - September 11 2020
Leopardstown 15:10
6(6)
Wayne Lordan

Armory

J:
 
Wayne Lordan
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-3
OR: 112
Days: 29

The last of the three pronged attack by O'Brien on the race and one of the outsiders of the field for a reason, promising a lot as a juvenile but never living up to that form this year.

As a two year old the son of Galileo landed three races on the bounce including the Group Two Fututrity Stakes but when put into Group One company has struggled.

This term the colt finished fourth in the Irish 2000 Guineas on debut and was fourth again when stepped up in trip for the Tattersalls Gold Cup.

He got back to winning ways at The Curragh over 1m2f in a Group Three event last time out, but this race demands much more and he is oppasable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/08/20CUR10Gd9-01
26/07/20CUR10Gd/Y9-34
12/06/20CUR8GF9-24
27/10/19LON7Hy9-02
06/10/19LON8VSft9-03
Leopardstown - September 11 2020
Leopardstown 15:10
3(4)
Shane Foley

Leo De Fury

J:
 
Shane Foley
T:
 
Mrs John Harrington
Age: 4
Weight: 9-9
OR: 114
Days: 29

The final runner of the race is the Jessica Harrington trained Leo De Fury and although a smart horse is not at the same level as most of this field.

The four year old got off the mark on his seasonal debut in a good Group Two at the Curragh but since then has been weak in Group One and Three events.

He only beat one home in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and then finished last of five in the Royal Whip Stakes and he needs a miracle on that form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
14/08/20CUR10Gd9-135
26/07/20CUR10Gd/Y9-125
12/06/20CUR10.5GF9-51
05/10/19LON10VSft8-114
14/09/19LEO12Gd9-15
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