Magical Heads O'Brien Irish Champions Weekend Team

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Magical

Multiple Group One winning mare Magical looks set to head her trainers line up for the Irish Champions Weekend on Saturday week as she looks set to land the feature contest of the two days at Leopardstown.

Winning the Irish Champion Stakes last season, the five year old has since been in top form landing back to back Group Ones in Ireland before chasing home Ghaiyaath last time out at York in the Juddmonte International.

The two could reignite their rivalry next week, although unlikely but back on home turd Magical will be looking to go closer than last time and her trainer O'Brien is happy with how she came out of the event last time out.

(Credit ATR) The trainer said: “We’d be delighted if he (Ghaiyyath) did come over. It was Magical’s first run back for an autumn campaign. We’d be looking forward to the race and it would be great for everyone if he did come.

“She ran in York and Ryan (Moore) was very happy with her and thought she might progress for it.

“She’s a hardy lady and gives her all. There is every chance she’d run a very big race.”

Another big name that could feature in the race is Japan, who was disappointing in the King George at Ascot and has since been recovering from a foot problem incurred the event.

“Japan is also there. We’re happy with him now. He came back with very sore feet. He was sore for a week, but has been re-shod and is taking his training very well,” said O’Brien.

Others that could be used in the race from the Ballydoyle camp are Vatican City, Magic Wand and Armory.

Irish 1000 Guineas winner, Peaceful, looks set for the Matron stakes after a superb run in the Prix de Diane last time out finishing third behind Fancy Blue and Alpine Star, who both have since gone on to frank that form.

O’Brien added: “She’s come out of France well. She’s had a little break and is back for the autumn again.

“Obviously she won the Irish Guineas and then she went and ran very well in France. We thought we’d go back to a mile and then to a mile and a quarter again. We are very happy with him and think she is ready to run again.”

Another big name that is set to feature is the Irish Derby winner last season Sovereign who has returned from injury in fine form and he looks to be heading O'Brien's Irish St Leger challenge.

“He had a lovely run in the King George. We think he’ll get a mile and six and if the ground is slow it shouldn’t bother him either,” he said.

“We are also thinking of running Passion back there. She ran a big race in the Oaks and we felt she’d be happy stepping up to a mile and six, as she showed at Naas. We thought we might run her with him. We look forward to seeing her run.

“Dawn Patrol will probably go to England for the Leger there for three-year-olds. Mythical might go there as well.”

Finally, Battleground looks to be another exciting runner on show after being unbeaten so far during his career after wins in the Chesham Stakes and Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood and he will now enter Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes on the Sunday.

O’Brien said: “That’s the plan. Obviously there are others who could run with him, but the plan was to go there with him after Goodwood.

“He’s a big, powerful horse and has done very well physically. We’re looking forward to him – he’s a horse to look forward to, we think.”

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