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Ghaiyyath on course to take his chance in Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown

Tue 8 Sep 2020

Ghaiyyath has been confirmed an intended runner in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.

Charlie Appleby’s five-year-old has carried all before him this season, winning the Coronation Cup, the Eclipse and the Juddmonte International at York – earning himself the moniker of the best turf horse on the planet.

He is due to gallop on Wednesday morning and should he come through that unscathed then Ghaiyyath will be on the plane to Ireland.

Speaking at lunchtime on Tuesday, Appleby, who has also left in Barney Roy, said: “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.”

Aidan O’Brien’s Magical chased Ghaiyaath home at York and is one of six possibles for the Ballydoyle handler – also including Japan and Magic Wand.

Longines Irish Champions Weekend features six Group One races and you can watch them all live on Racing TV

John Gosden’s Lord North is still in the mix – as is Jean-Claude Rouget’s Sottsass, who won the Prix du Jockey Club last year.

The other Group One race on the first day of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend is the Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes .

Donnacha O’Brien’s Fancy Blue arguably sets the standard, having won the Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes this summer already.

Aidan O’Brien has Irish Guineas winner Peaceful, subsequently a neck behind Fancy Blue in France, and Magic Wand in his team.

Donnacha O'Brien tells Johnny Ward more about Fancy Blue

Johnny Murtagh is another with multiple entries, with Champers Elysees and Know It All among the 13.

There are plenty of promising youngsters in the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes, including Ger Lyons’ Ides Of August and Jim Bolger’s Jack Duggan.

Aidan O’Brien has four of the 19, with High Definition the only one who remains unbeaten. Joseph O’Brien has six in the mix, including Liffey River.

Simon and Ed Crisford’s Century Dream, John Quinn’s Safe Voyage and David O’Meara’s Escobar are the three British-trained raiders left in the Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile.

Wichita, Vatican City, Ancient Spirit and Lancaster House are also among the 13.

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