The highest-rated horse in the world, Ghaiyyath, is set to run at Leopardstown on Saturday in the Irish Champion Stakes.
Ghaiyyath is on course for a fourth consecutive Group One success in the Irish Champion Stakes on the opening day of the meeting at Leopardstown on Saturday.
His trainer, Charlie Appleby, revealed at lunchtime on Tuesday, “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.”
Coral Eclipse - Group I (Class 1)
2000 m, 250.000 GBP, for 4yo+
(5H Dubawi - Nightime by Galileo)
J : William Buick
T : Charlie Appleby
O : Godolphin
3rd Japan pic.twitter.com/hyJvzNx0ro
— WR1 (@WorldRacing1) July 5, 2020
Godolphin's superstar became the highest-rated horse in the world when adding the Juddmonte International at York last month to earlier top-level wins in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket and Sandown’s Coral-Eclipse.
The main opposition to Ghaiyyath is expected to come from the horses he beat into second and third place respectively at York, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Magical, winner of the Irish Champion Stakes last year, and John Gosden’s Lord North.
Jean-Claude Rouget won the Irish Champion Stakes with Almanzor in 2016 and he will run last year’s French Derby winner Sottsass, a winner again at Chantilly in the Group One Prix Ganay in June while Barney Roy could accompany stable companion Ghaiyyath on the trip to Dublin.
In all, 13 horses have stood their ground for the Irish Champion Stakes with Anthony Van Dyck, Japan, Magic Wand, Vatican City and Armory still in the race for Aidan O'Brien, Jessica Harrington has Leo De Fury and Joseph O'Brien could yet call upon Buckhurst and Degraves.
There are four Group 1 races at the Curragh on Sunday and the second day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend is highlighted by the Comer Group International Irish St Leger. Seventeen horses remain in the final Classic of the season, with the Roger Varian-trained Royal Ascot and York Ebor winner Fujaira Prince and Dermot Weld’s Search For A Song, a brilliant winner of the race last year, leading the way.
Pat Keogh, CEO of the Curragh Racecourse said: “Longines Irish Champions Weekend, only in its seventh year, has already established itself as one of the major festivals. The quality of racing is always excellent and we are delighted with this year’s entries. It promises to be two very special days racing.”