Anthony Van Dyck bids for Champion redemption

Derby winner one of eight in Leopardstown showpiece

  • Thursday 12 September
  • News
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Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck will attempt to redeem his reputation among a field of eight in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

Since his famous day at Epsom, Anthony Van Dyck has been beaten by stablemate Sovereign in the Irish Derby and been unplaced in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth at Ascot.

Aidan O’Brien fields an extremely strong team of four on Saturday, with the top-class Magical also lining up. Hunting Horn and Magic Wand complete the Ballydoyle quartet.

There is some serious strength in depth against the Coolmore battalion , however, with Kevin Prendergast’s Madhmoon still seeking a first Group One win after being narrowly denied at Epsom.

Chris Hayes has ridden the Dawn Approach colt on all seven of his outings, and feels there is still more to come.

“He’s in good shape. He got a nice break after the Irish Derby and his prep run couldn’t have gone any better,” said Hayes.

“We got a good blow into him and I thought he was impressive, dropping back four furlongs. He hasn’t missed a beat since, he’s in a good place and we’re looking forward to the big day.

“In hindsight he probably had a harder race than we gave him credit for in the English Derby. He was in a tussle a long way down and got racing very early with me.”

As a consequence Hayes feels he did not give his true running at the Curragh: “You could see the signs in the prelims as he sweated up and got a little bit fractious, which is out of character for him.

“He was very tired after the race and couldn’t even run on to be second. I’d draw a line through it as he had legitimate excuses.

“He was impressive the last day and I think it’s done his confidence the power of good. He’s in a good place mentally and physically.”

All other runners are from overseas – including the Newmarket-based Japanese contender Deirdre, who won the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

Mark Johnston has supplemented Elarqam, in the same Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum ownership as Madhmoon, after an unfortunate run at York last time out.

Last but not least is Roger Charlton’s improving Headman, winner of two Group Twos in France this season.

Karl Burke’s Laurens faces six rivals as she bids for back-to-back wins in the Coolmore ‘Fastnet Rock’ Matron Stakes.

After seeing off Alpha Centuari in the race 12 months ago, this time her main rival appears to be O’Brien’s dual Guineas winner Hermosa – who needs to bounce back from a disappointing display at Goodwood.

Joseph O’Brien’s Iridessa and John Oxx’s Skitter Scatter are also in the line up.

The Group Two Boomerang Stakes has attracted nine runners, with O’Brien’s unbeaten Lancaster House set for a quick reappearance after winning at Listowel this week.

Suedois, winner of the race two years ago, and Richard Fahey’s Royal Ascot winner Space Traveller are declared.

Joseph O’Brien’s Buckhurst sets the standard in the Paddy Power Betting Shop Stakes.

Anthony Van Dyck bids for Champion redemption
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