/ Racing

Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown attracts stellar entry

Updated: Wednesday, 24 Jul 2013 18:05 | Comments

Minstrel Stakes winner Darwin has been entered in the Irish Champion Stakes
Minstrel Stakes winner Darwin has been entered in the Irish Champion Stakes

Aidan O'Brien has a strong hand in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes as he seeks an eighth success in the Group One at Leopardstown in September.

The Ballydoyle trainer's multiple entry includes Epsom Derby hero Ruler Of The World and exciting American import Darwin, who was an impressive winner of the Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh last Sunday.

Speaking at the race's launch at the Ritz Carlton in Powerscourt, he said: "We will be supporting the race for sure. Darwin was impressive when he won at the weekend and he is still in the mix as is Declaration Of War and Kingsbarns."

Jim Bolger confirmed his intention to run Trading Leather, although the Irish Derby hero is set to take in Saturday's King George at Ascot and the Juddmonte International at York first.

"The plan for Trading Leather is for him to run in the Irish Champion Stakes. He'll go for the King George, then the Juddmonte and then back to Leopardstown," said Bolger.

The French-trained Cirrus Des Aigles is favourite for the King George, but he too is a possible for Leopardstown.

The seven-year-old's handler Corine Barande-Barbe said: "The horse runs on Saturday so we'll have to see how that goes.

"He has been left in the Irish Champion Stakes and has other race entries as well. However, it remains a possibility as he has no other option in September."

Al Kazeem is on a break after chalking up a hat-trick of Group One successes already this season and he may also go to Leopardstown.

"He is currently on a break, but we are considering the Irish Champion Stakes for Al Kazeem," said his trainer Roger Charlton.

Marco Botti has confirmed Dubai World Cup third Planteur a definite starter and said: "The plan for some time now has been to run Planteur in the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes."

Last year's renewal was won by the recently-retired Snow Fairy and it was announced her owner Cristina Patino is to donate a statue of the mare to Leopardstown to acknowledge her course record in the race. 

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