Magical got the better of Ghaiyyath in a thrilling finish to the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Seamie Heffernan, the five-year-old mare (9/2) was turning around Juddmonte International form with Ghaiyyath, as the pair went head to head from the off.
William Buick set out to make all on the Charlie Appleby-trained favourite (8/13) in his usual manner – but the distress signals were starting to emerge at the top of the straight as Magical moved upsides, while Japan switched to the inside rail to throw down his challenge.
To his credit, Ghaiyyath kept fighting, but Magical found an extra gear in the final half-furlong to pull clear at the line.
O'Brien's 66/1 shot Armory was third.
That's 🎩✨— RTÉ Racing (@RTEracing) September 12, 2020
Aidan O'Brien's Magical surges home to defeat the world's top-rated horse, Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes@IrishChampsWknd is live now on @RTEOne and @RTEplayer #rteracing pic.twitter.com/8fQhjNXDWx
O'Brien said: "What she wants is always to eyeball a horse in battle. Seamie was happy to make the running today if William wanted to get a lead and if William was going to go, Seamie was going to go with him and keep her interested.
"It was a brilliant ride and she’s a serious mare. It’s really when you get into a battle with her, you see what she can do."