Ghaiyyath heads up mouthwatering field for Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes

THE world's top-rated racehorse Ghaiyyath heads a star-studded line-up for Saturday's Irish Champion Stakes.

Charlie Appleby's five-year-old has swept all before him this summer, winning the Coronation Cup, Coral-Eclipse and Juddmonte International at York.


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He will be put through his paces in a gallop tomorrow morning and should he come through that unscathed then Ghaiyyath will have booked his ticket to Irish Champions Weekend.

Appleby said: "Ghaiyyath will work tomorrow morning, we will have a final discussion then and if everyone is happy our intention is to fly to Dublin on Saturday morning."

Aidan O'Brien's Magical chased Ghaiyaath home at York and is one of six possibles for the Ballydoyle handler – also including Japan and Magic Wand.

John Gosden's Lord North was an impressive winner of the Prince Of Wales's Stakes earlier this year and is still in the mix for a yard with an excellent record in the race, thanks to Roaring Lion, Golden Horn and The Fugue.

Irish Champion Stakes – Coral’s latest odds

Evs Ghaiyyath

5-2 Magical

7-1 Lord North

8-1 Sottsass

10-1 Japan

14-1 Anthony Van Dyck

16-1 Barney Roy

25-1 Bar

Jean-Claude Rouget's Sottsass, who won the Prix du Jockey Club last year, remains in contention for France. Rouget sent out Almanzor to win the race in 2016.

Coral's David Stevens said: "We've seen some tremendous head to heads between Godolphin and Ballydoyle in the past, and the betting suggests we could be in for another treat this weekend.

"Ghaiyyath's a worthy favourite following his big wins this summer, but Magical a worthy rival to the market leader."

The other Group 1 race at Leopardstown on Saturday is the Matron Stakes.

Donnacha O'Brien's Fancy Blue sets the standard, having won the Prix de Diane and Nassau Stakes this summer already.

His dad Aidan has Irish Guineas winner Peaceful, subsequently a neck behind Fancy Blue in France, and Magic Wand in his team.

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