Hurricane and Ouija among nine left in Champion Stakes

HURRICANE RUN and Ouija Board could be set for a fascinating clash in Saturday’s Baileys Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

The pair, winners of 10 Group One races between them, are among nine horses left in the 10-furlong contest at the five-day stage.

Hurricane Run, who is trained by Andre Fabre, has not run since his success in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot in July.

Ed Dunlop’s stable star Ouija Board will come into the race on the back of a thrilling success over Alexander Goldrun in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

The latter could reoppose here, although trainer Jim Bolger has also left the globe-trotting mare in the Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes on the same card.

Aidan O’Brien has three possibles in Juddmonte International disappointment Dylan Thomas, Ace and Sunday’s Moulin fourth Aussie Rules.

Sir Michael Stoute could send Celebration Mile last Rob Roy while Kevin Prendergast could step Mustameet up to Group One level for the first time as he chases a five-timer in the big race.

Likely outsider Lord Admiral completes the possibles for Charles O’Brien.

Meanwhile Nannina and Flashy Wings, first and second respectively in the Coronation Stakes, could renew old rivalries in the Coolmoore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes, also on Saturday.

Just one length separated the pair at Royal Ascot – with Aidan O’Brien’s Race For The Stars a close fourth – and all three could do battle again at Leopardstown.

However, they may have to contend with Jim Bolger’s stable star Alexander Goldrun in the mile affair as the five-year-old is still engaged in this race and the Baileys Irish Champion Stakes.

Alexander Goldrun was last seen fighting out a thrilling finish to go down by a short head to Ouija Board in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood.

As well as Nannina, the Cheveley Park Stud have the choice of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Echelon and Peeress, while Michael Bell could give six-time winner Red Evie a first try in Group One company.

Rae Guest’s Bahia Breeze, the David Elsworth-trained Cape Columbine and Barry Hills’ Short Dance are the other possible British raiders.

Bolger has a second-string to his bow in Modeeroch, while Kevin Prendergast could be represented by Tamazug and Ugo Fire.

Ardbrae Lady and Jazz Princess complete the 15 confirmations.

Yorkshire-based trainer Mark Johnston has four horses among 14 in the Sportsman Newspaper Champagne Stakes at York on Saturday following the five-day confirmation stage.

The Middleham handler has left in Champery, Kirklees and Middleham, all owned by Sheikh Mohammed, plus Dubai’s Touch, who carries the colours of Saeed Suhail.

Johnston will be looking for his second success in the Group Two contest over seven furlongs for two-year-olds after Lucky Story took the race in 2003.

Aidan O’Brien is currently triple-handed with Admiralofthefleet, Chivalrous and Eagle Mountain.

Vital Equine, unbeaten in both his starts, could try to give Eoghan O’Neill outright success in the race after Silent Times dead-heated with Close To You at Doncaster, the race’s traditional home, 12 months ago.

Other unbeaten colts standing their ground are Michael Jarvis’s Prince Forever and Thousand Words, trained by Barry Hills.

The possibles are completed by Tom Tate’s Celtic Sultan, Geoff Huffer’s Cockney Rebel, Richard Fahey’s Fishforcompliments and Rallying Cry, trained by John Gosden.

Jarvis said Prince Forever was “a probable” for the race.

The son of Giant’s Causeway, described by his trainer as “a promising horse”, was quoted at 33-1 for the Stan James 2000 Guineas after he made an impressive winning debut at Newbury last month.

Prince Forever broke smartly and after disputing the lead, drew clear from the two-pole to beat Thabaat in good style by a length and a quarter. He is now likely to step up to Group Two company in Saturday’s race.

“He’s a nice colt but obviously it’s a big step up in class,” said Jarvis.

“He’s a very clear-winded horse and we haven’t been too hard on him on since Newbury and just kept him ticking over.”

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