Magical is set to lead Aidan O’Brien’s bid for an eighth success from the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes – with star stablemate Japan going to watch for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Week, having noticed the admirable Crystal Ocean in an pulsating renewal of the Juddmonte International at York last month, now Japan is priced upward since the favourite for the feature event in Ireland on Saturday.
But speaking at a media event on Wednesday in his yard morning, O’Brien indicated he could head to Paris in October and Magical could line up as his main hope at the Dublin circuit.
The latter finished a hat-trick for the summer in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May, since when she has chased dwelling Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot along with her old foe Enable from the Coral-Eclipse and the Yorkshire Oaks.
O’Brien said:“The strategy for Magical was always to go to York, then visit the Irish Champion and when all goes well then visit the Arc. We’ve been very happy with her and she came the race out well.
„We knew we weren’t likely to run her against Japan (at the Juddmonte International), so we knew we’re going to need to supplement her to the Yorkshire Oaks, and the next thing John (Gosden) is going there with Enable.
„It is not certain that Japan will not go to the Irish Champion, however it’s possible he will go straight to the Arc. I’d be leaning towards doing that a little somewhat, but we won’t eliminate the Champion.
„He’s just a three-year-old and we don’t want to over-tax him. He’s progressing and we want to offer him a chance to keep progressing.“
Whether Japan takes his opportunity or maybe not, Magical is unlikely to function as Investec Derby enthusiast Anthony Van Dyck also from the combination , together with Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia and O’Brien’s sole hope in the Champion.
Magna Grecia has not yet been seen since completing minute when chasing the Guineas double in the Curragh in late May, while Anthony Van Dyck could drop back in trip after finishing down the field from the King George at Ascot – though O’Brien is also considering whether to await the Breeders’ Cup.
He explained:“Magna Grecia is getting ready to go to the Irish Champion and we are very satisfied with him.
„The strategy was supposed to visit York, and then the Irish Champion and go back to a mile for the QEII at Ascot, but he wasn’t prepared for York and might be prepared for the Irish Champion. We’re delighted with him and he’s done well.
„Anthony Van Dyck is in good order. He could run in the Champion, but he could go to the Breeders’ Cup Turf. That’s what we’ve needed in our minds for a while for him – a mile and a half on fast ground.
„His final series was a non-event since they probably went somewhat fast and the floor was somewhat soft.
„Hopefully he will stay in coaching (next year).“
O’Brien also affirmed his shock this season, Irish Derby hero Sovereign will not run again, but hopes to see him return in 2020.
Irish Derby sixth Broome has been prepared for the Arc.
Read more: college basketball odds