Magical Becomes Second Dual Winner Of Irish Champion Stakes
Magical (5m Galileo - Halfway To Heaven, by Pivotal) repeated the incredible feat of Dylan Thomas (Danehill) when winning the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes for a second time on Saturday.
Dylan Thomas defeated Ouija Board and Alexander Goldrun to land the 2006 running, while he had Duke Of Marmalade (Danehill) chasing him home the following year. Magical faced a similarly tough opponent at Leopardstown, with Ghaiyyath seeking a fourth consecutive top-level success and it was he who led the field for much of the way.
Seamie Heffernan tracked the leader aboard Magical, closing in from halfway and pushed the mare from two furlongs out. Leading narrowly inside the final furlong, Magical kept on well to beat Ghaiyyath by three parts of a length, as her stablemate Armory (Galileo) took third.
After winning the race for the ninth time, Aidan O’Brien said, “She's tough, genuine, determined, has speed – she has everything. I'm over the moon and Seamus gave her a brilliant ride.” Magical’s attitude matches her talent, O’Brien added, saying, “What she always wants is to eyeball a horse and battle. When you really get into a battle with her, that's when you really see what she can do as you saw there today.”
Having won the opening Listed contest with exciting juvenile Monday (Fastnet Rock), O’Brien, Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith celebrated a treble on the card when Tiger Moth (3c Galileo - Lesson In Humility, by Mujadil) ran out an impressive winner of the Group 3 Paddy Power Stakes.
A maiden winner at the track in June, the son of Galileo was last season finishing a close second to stablemate Santiago in the Irish Derby and was sent off favourite on return under Ryan Moore. Chasing the leaders for much of the mile and a half contest, he made headway approaching the turn for home and improved into second with two furlongs left to race. In front soon after, he stayed on strongly to score by four lengths, as Silence Please (Gleneagles) ran on to snatch second from Up Helly Aa (Galileo).