It's been confirmed that the highest-rated horse in the world, Ghaiyyath, will run in the Irish Champion Stakes on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Godolphin's star five-year-old won the Juddmonte International at York last month to add to Group One victories in the Coronation Cup at Newmarket and Sandown’s Coral-Eclipse.
“It was a routine piece of work to check his well-being, and he has come through it without a worry," trainer Charlie Appleby said of Ghaiyyath's entry in the race.
“It was not strong work, more a breeze, which is normal procedure three days before a race. He’s telling us that he’s ready now for another big race.
“We are really looking forward to the weekend. He travels to Ireland at the peak of his career, unbeaten in four starts this year, three of them Grade 1s, two of which were officially rated the best performances globally in 2020.”
Irish champion trainer Aidan O'Brien is set to saddle Magical, winner of the Irish Champion Stakes last year, and Japan.
Magical is bidding to become the first horse to win the race twice after the O’Brien-trained Dylan Thomas in 2006 and 2007.
Jean-Claude Rouget is back for further Irish Champion Stakes success. He won with Almanzor in 2016 and runs Sottsass, the mount of Colin Keane, and the field is completed by the Jessica Harrington-trained Leo De Fury and one more from Ballydoyle, Armory.