Magical is set to head Aidan O’Brien’s team in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday week.
Successful 12 months ago, the multiple Group One-winning mare chased home Ghaiyyath in the Juddmonte International at York last month, and O’Brien would be pleased for the profile of the race if the two could have a rematch on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
“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,” said O’Brien.
“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.”
Japan could also take his chance after recovering from a foot problem incurred in the King George at Ascot.
“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.
Vatican City, Magic Wand and Armory are also in the mix.
Peaceful, winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas and a close third in the Prix de Diane, is on target for the Coolmore America ‘Justify’ Matron Stakes.
“She’s come out of France well. She’s had a little break and is back for the autumn again,” said O’Brien.
“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.”
Lancaster House and Arizona are among O’Brien’s entries in the Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile.
“Arizona is a possible, Armory might go to the Champion and Lancaster House would be a strong possibility. We think it might suit him and we think Royal Dornoch might run there as well.”
Cormorant, Monumental, Persia, Ennistymon and Laburnum are other possibles.
Tiger Moth, runner-up in the Irish Derby, could make his return in the Group Three Kilternan Stakes, with O’Brien saying: “I’m not sure he’d get a mile and six, so we probably won’t go to the Leger with him.”
Of 18 entries in the Group Two KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes, O’Brien is considering Van Gogh, Brazil and High Definition.
Sovereign, last year’s shock Irish Derby hero, will head O’Brien’s charge in the Comer Group International St Leger at the Curragh 24 hours later.
“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.”
Battleground has been earmarked for the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes since his victory in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, which backed up his Royal Ascot triumph in the Chesham Stakes.
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.”
Military Style, Ontario, St Mark’s Basilica and Wembley too might join their stablemate in the seven-furlong Group One.
Divinely and Mother Earth are in O’Brien’s mind for the Moyglare Stud Stakes, along with Snowfall and More Beautiful.
Lope Y Fernandez is being aimed at the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, while O’Brien might switch Magic Wand to the Group Two Moyglare ‘Jewels’ Blandford Stakes from the Irish Champion if conditions are more suitable for her.
“Magic Wand could be a possibility if she wasn’t going for the Champion. It will probably depend on ground with her.”
O’Brien is also thinking of running Lovelier.
“The last day at the Curragh the ground was too soft for her,” he said.
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