O'Brien hot favourite to take Irish Champion
AIDAN O'BRIEN is a hot favourite to continue his remarkable season and secure his 19th Group 1 victory of the year in the Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday.
The Ballydoyle maestro has saddled the last three winners of the Tattersalls Millions-sponsored Leopardstown contest and his main hope at this stage would appear to be Duke Of Marmalade, winner of the Juddmonte International at Newmarket last time.
However, O'Brien has four other possibles in the race, including dual 2,000 Guineas winner Henrythenavigator, King Of Rome, Zulu Chief and Red Rock Canyon. Cashmans make the champion trainer a 4-9 chance to add to his top-level tally on Saturday.
Alan Cooper, racing manager to owners the Niarchos Family, believes there is a good chance Multidimensional will throw his hat intothe ring, too. The son of Danehill was an impressive winner at Haydock on his latest outing but missed the Juddmonte International due to the fast conditions.
"At the moment it is quite possible he will run - the ground won't be firm in Ireland," he said.
"A final decision will be made on Thursday but I think Henry Cecil would like to run if conditions are suitable."
Kevin Prendergast admits Mores Wells would face a stiff task against some of the principals, but the four-year-old's owners were keen to leave him in the feature event.
"We left him in the race and I we will have a look at it later in the week and see how it looks," said Prendergast.
"Obviously it looks very hot and I was planning to run him in the Irish St Leger a week later, but theowner pays the bills.
"He won nicely at Leopardstown last time over a mile and a half and was always travelling well.
"He has won over a mile and quarter a couple of times, though, and has plenty of pace so the trip is not really a concern."
IRISH CHAMPION STAKES
Cashmans 4-9 Aidan O'Brien winner, 7-4 New Approach, 25-1 Multidimensional, 50-1 Lord Admiral, 50-1 Mores Wells, 100-1 Traffic Guard, 200-1 She's Our Mark.