A thrilling finish to the Red Mills sponsored Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown saw So You Think hold off the determined challenge of the gallant filly Snow Fairy to win his eight Group/Grade 1 race. The imposing son of High Chaparral took over soon after straightening up for home but was immediately tackled by Frankie Dettori and Snow Fairy. Seamie Heffernan conjured up a renewed response from So You Think and he held on well to win by half a length for Aidan O’Brien and the Smith/Magnier/Tabor triumvirate.
Aidan O’Brien was winning his seventh Irish Champion Stakes and in describing So You Think commented; “He’s an incredible specimen, big and powerful and an unbelievable thoroughbred to look at.” On future plans for the 5yo victorious part owner John Magnier added; “He’s the kind of horse we're spoiled for options for. He could run in the mile race at Ascot or mile and a quarter and the Arc. The mouth-watering possibility of So You Think taking on Frankel in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes would be a race to remember and it would be a huge boost to the inaugural Champions Day to be held at Ascot in October. Connections of Snow Fairy were justifiably proud of her effort and the daughter of Intikhab will no doubt be seeking further glory in the Far East later in the season.
Dermot Weld rarely goes a season without a Group 1 victory and in Emulous he has a filly that could add several more to her initial win at the highest level. She handled the rise to Group 1 company with ease when winning the Coolmore Matron Stakes by three lengths under Pat Smullen. The winning rider has always held Khalid Abdulla’s homebred in high regard and commented; “She picked up very, very well. She could have a really good end of the year”. It was an important win for Weld as it was his first Group 1 for Khalid Abdulla following several near misses for his other stable-star Famous Name.
Dermot Weld was completing a double having previously landed the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes with Galileo’s Choice (IRE). The son of Galileo has made such progress this summer that Weld is seriously considering a tilt at the Melbourne Cup. Bred by Paddy Kelly of Ballybin Stud, Galileo’s Choice has already proven his stamina having won a hurdle at Galway over an extended two miles.