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Al Kazeem declared for Leopardstown's Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes

Updated: Thursday, 05 Sep 2013 09:52 | Comments

Al Kazeem was beaten in the Juddmonte International at York last month
Al Kazeem was beaten in the Juddmonte International at York last month

Roger Charlton has confirmed Al Kazeem has been declared for Saturday's Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

The five-year-old had been due to bypass the 10-furlong feature in favour of a trip to France on Sunday week but the prospect of rain in Ireland has prompted a change in plan by Charlton and owner John Deer.

Charlton tweeted: "Al Kazeem has been declared to run in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday, let's hope the rain arrives as predicted."

Al Kazeem suffered his first defeat of this campaign when beaten into third by Declaration Of War in the Juddmonte International at York last month and the pair could clash again.

While officials at Leopardstown would love to host a second encounter between the pair, clerk of the course Lorcan Wyer admits it would appear an unlikely event as each horse requires different conditions.

"We're not sure exactly how much (rain the track will get), but they are talking from Friday midnight through to the early part of Saturday. We are maybe looking at 15 or 20 millimetres of rain," he told At The Races.

"It may not be quite as much during race time, but it looks like we're going to get some rain.

"I can't tell you what the going is going to be on Saturday, but we are good to firm at the moment and I think the whole team has produced gorgeous racing ground, it's beautiful.

"We're kind of keeping all the plates spinning in the air at the moment. We stopped watering on Tuesday given the fact of rain coming in.

"I dare say if you came and walked the track on Friday night in advance of the rain, you might find it may be quicker than ideal for some horses, so we are playing poker a little bit at the moment.

"If the rain comes, looking on the positive side, 20mm is not coming in the space of an hour and a half, it's 20mm over a sustained period of time, maybe two or three millimetres per hour. If that's the case, the track is in fabulous condition and is well able to take that volume of rain.

"To give a guide to how it may go, I'd say it may be no worse than yielding or good to soft, but that's an estimated guess.

"Unfortunately, it may be slow enough for Al Kazeem, but if it's slow enough for him, it will be too slow for Declaration Of War.

"We would love to have them all here, but that's unlikely.

"We are flexible in what we can do, our main priority is to provide the best possible racing ground to get horse and rider round safely.

"If the forecast changes dramatically, we are well positioned as we put approximately 12mm on the track on Monday and Tuesday. The track will be well receptive to maybe selected light watering, just to ensure there's no jar in the ground.

"We're in control of the situation and we're playing Russian roulette a little bit stopping on Tuesday, but we're in a good position and I'm sure we can provide nice ground for everybody."

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