Magical set for Irish Champion Stakes bid

Magical is placed to lead Aidan O’Brien’s bid for an eighth victory in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown — together with celebrity stablemate Japan going to wait around for the Prix de Triomphe.
Having seen off the Crystal Ocean within an renewal of the Juddmonte International at York last month, now Japan is priced up as the favourite for the characteristic event in Ireland on Saturday week.
However, speaking at a media event on Wednesday in his lawn O’Brien suggested he could head to Paris and Magical could instead line up as his hope in the Dublin circuit.
The latter completed a hat-trick for its summer from the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May, since when she has chased dwelling Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot along with her old foe Enable from the Coral-Eclipse along with the Yorkshire Oaks.
O’Brien said:»The strategy for Magical was always to visit York, then visit the Irish Champion and when everything goes well then visit the Arc. We have been quite happy with her since and she came out that the race .
«We knew that we weren’t likely to run her from Japan (at the Juddmonte International), therefore we knew we were going to get to supplement her to the Yorkshire Oaks, and the next thing John (Gosden) is going there with Enable.
«It isn’t definite that Japan will not go to the Irish Champion, but it’s possible he will go directly to the Arc. We will not eliminate the Irish Champion, although I’d be leaning towards doing that a little a bit.
«He is just a three-year-old and we do not want to over-tax him. He’s progressing and we want to give him a chance to keep progressing.»
Whether Japan takes his chance or maybe not, Magical is unlikely to be hope together with Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia, at the Champion and Investec Derby enthusiast Anthony Van Dyck from the mix.
Magna Grecia hasn’t yet been seen since finishing minute when chasing the Guineas double in the Curragh in late May, although Anthony Van Dyck could drop back in trip after completing down the field from the King George at Ascot — though O’Brien is also considering whether to await the Breeders’ Cup.
He explained:»Magna Grecia is getting prepared to visit the Irish Champion and we are extremely happy with him.
«The strategy was to go to York, and then the Irish Champion and then go back to a mile to get the QEII in Ascot, but he was not prepared for York and might be ready for the Irish Champion. We’re delighted with him and he’s done well.
«Anthony Van Dyck is also in great order. He could run into the Champion, but he could go to the Breeders’ Cup Turf. That’s what we’ve had in our heads for a while for him a mile and a half on ground.
«His final series was a non-event as they went a bit quick and the floor was a bit soft.
«Hopefully he will remain in coaching (following year).»
O’Brien also affirmed his jolt Irish Derby hero Sovereign will not run again this year, but hopes to see him return in 2020.
Irish Derby sixth Broome, meanwhile, has been ready for the Arc.

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