Magical (Galileo) wins the Gr.1 British Champions Stakes at Ascot

Magical And Kew Gardens Complete Champions Double

Aidan O’Brien was full of praise for Magical (4f Galileo - Halfway To Heaven, by Pivotal) after she provided him with his first success in the Group 1 QIPCO Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

Speaking after the race, O’Brien said, “When you ask Magical a question she always says yes. She is unique. She gives her all and really is the most unbelievable filly.” The bay was recording her fourth Group 1 success, on which O’Brien commented, “She handles ease in the ground and goes on fast ground. What can you say? She is the ultimate racehorse - that's what she is.”

On top of her four top-level victories, Magical has won another four Group races, and claimed runners-up honours at Group 1 level on five occasions. Owned by Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier and Michael Tabor, the daughter of Galileo was bred by Orpendale, Chelston and Wynatt out of three-time Group 1 winner Halfway To Heaven, herself out of King’s Stand Stakes heroine Cassandra Go.

Magical completed a double on the card for connections following Kew Gardens (4c Galileo - Chelsea Rose, by Desert King) prevailing in a thrilling finish to the Group 2 Long Distance Cup.

Second on all three of his starts this season, the dual Group 1 winner faced a formidable foe in Stradivarius, who won last year’s running. Donnacha O’Brien, who later rode Magical to victory, led approaching the two furlong pole and was headed by his aforementioned rival a furlong later. Driven out, Kew Gardens dug deep and battled back to regain the advantage in the shadow of the post, the pair finishing five lengths clear of the field.

A delighted Aidan O’Brien commented after the race, “Kew Gardens is an incredible horse and it was a great performance. The lads will decide if he stays in training, but I think there is a strong chance that he will.”

Bred by Barronstown Stud, Kew Gardens is one of two Group winners out of his dam Chelsea Rose, who herself won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes.