Duke and Approach set for Irish Champion
DUKE OF MARMALADE and New Approach will do battle for a second time after both horses were declared to run in the Tattersalls Millions Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown onSaturday.
Aidan O'Brien's Duke Of Marmalade is unbeaten in five Group 1 starts this season and had Jim Bolger's Derby winner New Approach back in third when landing the rearranged Juddmonte International at Newmarket last time.
There had been doubts that a rematch would take place earlier this week with Duke Of Marmalade drifting markedly in the market, but it now looks as though the clash is backon as long as the ground does not get too soft for O'Brien's runner.
The Ballydoyle maestro will also saddle Red Rock Canyon and King Of Rome as he goes in search of a 19th top-level success of the campaign.
Henry Cecil's Multidimensional and Jane Chapple-Hyam's Traffic Guard are the British representatives.
The nine-strong field is completed by Lord Admiral, Mores Wells and She's Our Mark.
Kevin Prendergast has decided to let Mores Wells take his chance following his victory over Washington Irving in the Ballyroan Stakes last month.
"He has come out of the Leopardstown race very good and he handled the heavy ground well," said Prendergast.
"He has won twice over a mile and a quarter and I don't know that the trip is any big deal.
"The two favourites are the winner of the Derby and the grand horse - the 'Grand Duke' - so if we were third or fourth, it would be lovely to be Group 1-placed.
"He's won Group 3 races and was Group 1-placed when third in last year's Irish St Leger and anything he gets will be a bonus."
Paddy Power have installed Duke Of Marmalade as 10-11 favourite for Saturday's Group 1 event, with New Approach second-best in the market at 11-8.
Spokesman Paddy Power said: "Aidan's warning that the race may come too soon for 'the Duke' and likely softer ground than he has been running on means thegranite horse is available at what might be a generous 10-11.
"We've experience of taking him on before and come mightily unstuck!"
Irish Champion Stakes Paddy Power bet: 10-11 Duke Of Marmalade, 11-8 New Approach, 10-1 King Of Rome, 16-1 Multidimensional, 25-1 Mores Wells, 33-1 Lord Admiral, 50-1 Traffic Guard, 66-1 Red Rock Canyon, 100-1 She's Our Mark.