So You Think on course for Champion

SO YOU THINK is set to go off the red-hot favourite for the Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday after just six runners stood their ground at the confirmation stage.

The giant Australian import was a multiple winner at the highest level Down Under, but after landing the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on his debut for Aidan O’Brien, he was beaten at Royal Ascot, going down narrowly to the ill-fated Rewilding.

However, So You Think got back on track with a superb performance in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown, and is a 1-3 chance with Paddy Power to follow up.

O’Brien has also entered one-time Derby hope Recital and Roderic O’Connor, but So You Think’s biggest challenger looks to be Ed Dunlop’s star mare Snow Fairy.

Famous Name is a nine-time winner at Leopardstown but success at Group One level continues to prove elusive, while Dunboyne Express completes the list.

* AIDAN O’Brien’s Misty For Me is set to bid for her fifth Group One victory this weekend after featuring among 13 confirmations for Saturday’s Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.

The daughter of Galileo is enjoying a terrific season, winning the Irish 1,000 Guineas and most recently trouncing Midday in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

She is one of four possible runners for Ballydoyle in this one-mile contest, with O’Brien also entering Look At Me, Together and Wild Wind.

Moonlight Cloud and Glorious Sight are the two French-trained entries, although Freddie Head has ruled out running the former.

The two potential British raiders are Richard Fahey’s admirable filly Barefoot Lady and Strawberrydaiquiri from the Brian Meehan yard.

Dermot Weld’s Emulous, the Tommy Stack-trained Lolly For Dolly, Ballybacka Lady, Chrysanthemum and Emiyna complete the possibles.

* PRIX de l’arc de Triomphe favourite Sarafina could tackle the Prix Foy at Longchamp as part of her preparations for the main event in October.

Alain de Royer-Dupre’s filly was an unlucky third in the Arc last season and has been elevated to the head of ante-post lists for this year’s renewal following the career-ending injury suffered by Epsom Derby hero Pour Moi.

Sarafina has been given a break since landing the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in June and Georges Rimaud, racing manager to owner the Aga Khan, said. “She is absolutely fine,” said Rimaud. “The Prix Foy is definitely being considered.”

* GRAHAM Gibbons will get the leg-up on Hoof It for the first time this season as he has a second shot at Group One glory in Saturday’s Betfred Sprint Cup at Haydock.

Mick Easterby’s speedster is enjoying a hugely successful campaign, winning a couple of valuable handicaps at York before producing a breathtaking display under top-weight when landing the Stewards’ Cup at Glorious Goodwood.

The four-year-old returned to the Knavesmire as favourite for the Nunthorpe but, after a tardy start, he and regular partner Kieren Fallon came home a slightly disappointing sixth.

With Fallon required at Ascot to ride for his retaining trainer Luca Cumani, Gibbons, who guided Hoof It to three victories in 2010, will be back in the saddle on Merseyside.

* LADBROKES St Leger hope Whiplash Willie will miss the final Classic of the season due to injury.

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