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British trainers aim their stars at Irish Champions Weekend

September 2, 2014

British Trainers Aim Their Stars At Irish Champions Weekend

The €1 million QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes remains the aim for a number of British-trained horses headed by Lady Cecil’s Noble Mission. With less than a fortnight to go, it looks like he will be joined at Leopardstown by Amralah and Western Hymn.

Noble Mission, winner of the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May, is owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah and his Racing Manager Lord Grimthorpe said: “The ground isn’t vital for him and it is not that he doesn’t handle good or faster ground, it just that he handles soft ground better than others. He did his first bit of work back last Friday after he ran in Germany and he looks in very good form. We are going to aim him at Leopardstown and I think a mile and a quarter is his best trip and the intention is to run.”

The improving Amralah will represent trainer Mick Channon and he said of the recent Haydock winner: “We have been aiming him at the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and I don’t know whether we have frightened off Australia yet but the plan since he won at Haydock has been to run him at Leopardstown. He seems to handle most types of ground, but he wouldn’t want it heavy. I have always thought he was a fair horse, but on his first run this year he just disappointed me a bit – he appeared not to get the trip that day. But since we have got him back to a mile and a quarter he hasn’t stopped going forward.”

Western Hymn was added to the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at the second entry stage and a spokesman for trainer John Gosden said: “He was unsuited by the heavy ground at Deauville the last time and before that he won his Group 2 well at Maisons-Laffitte. He was supplemented at the second entry stage and the plan is to run him.”

Al Kazeem, runner-up to The Fugue in last year’s Irish Champion Stakes remains a possible contender in this year’s renewal, his trainer Roger Charlton said: “He is in very order and I am very happy with him. He came out of his last race extremely well. We are just weighing up the options as to whether we go to Ireland or whether we go to France.”

Brown Panther, running in the colours of legendary England striker Michael Owen and businessman Andrew Black, has been confirmed as a definite starter in the €300,000 Palmerstown House Estate Irish St. Leger at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend.

His trainer Tom Dascombe said: “He seems fine and this race has been the plan since Goodwood. We gave him a nice break after he last ran, but he seems to be in great shape again now. He can handle all types of ground so we’ll take whatever he gets. He is ready and he will come over.”

It will be Brown Panther’s second visit to the Curragh for the final Irish Classic of the year. He finished a close third behind Royal Diamond in the race two year ago.

The Roger Varian-trained Cursory Glance remains on target of the €300,000 Moyglare Stud Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend. A winner at Kempton and Royal Ascot, Cursory Glance finished second at York last time and her trainer is clearly looking forward to bringing her to the Curragh on Sunday, September 14.

He said: “The Moyglare Stud Stakes is the plan for Cursory Glance. She has trained nicely since York where she shaped as though the step up to seven furlongs would bring about further improvement. Her win at Royal Ascot in the Albany Stakes and her second to Tiggy Wiggy in the Lowther represents some of the strongest juvenile form around and she deserves to have a crack at a Group 1.”

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