Magician set for showdown

Magician is set to spearhead Aidan O’Brien’s bid for a seventh St James’s Palace Stakes success at Royal Ascot today after overcoming a late injury scare.

Magician set for showdown

Bruising that the Irish 2,000 Guineas hero suffered in a knock on Thursday has disappeared and he is posied to take his chance in what has the makings of a vintage renewal of the Group One over a mile.

Magician’s pilot Joseph O’Brien, son of the Ballydoyle handler, is looking forward to the contest and the chance to take on Newmarket 2000 Guineas victor Dawn Approach, who ruined his chance in the Investec Derby when refusing to settle for much of the mile-and-a-half journey.

“He’ll be checked over before he gets on the box, but at the moment I think he’s good and ready to take his chance, hopefully,” said the jockey.

“It’s a good race. Dawn Approach is a very high-class horse and I’m sure if they didn’t think he was 100% he wouldn’t be running.

“You can’t fault him if you take the Derby run away, but we’re hoping our horse can put it up to him.”

Victory would see Magician stake his claim to be champion three-year-old in Europe over a mile.

O’Brien senior said: “He looks an incredibly exciting horse.

“The lads (Coolmore) made that decision (to run in the Irish Guineas) – I wouldn’t have been brave enough to bring him back in trip (after the Dee Stakes over a mile and a quarter).

“It was a great decision on their part and it clearly paid off.

“He’s a horse with a lot of class – he travels very strongly and keeps on going.”

Ryan Moore gets the leg up on the O’Brien second string Mars, who drops back in trip after finishing sixth behind stablemate Ruler Of The World at Epsom.

“He’s a high-class horse with loads of ability and hopefully he can put it all together,” said O’Brien snr.

“He won his maiden and he’s only run in Group Ones since, so he’s been thrown straight in at the deep end.

“He ran well in the Guineas and the Derby and hopefully he’ll run a nice race again.”

Dawn Approach was magnificent when running away with the 2000 Guineas but blotted his copybook when tailed off last in the Derby after being virtually uncontrollable for jockey Kevin Manning when running too free early in the race.

He looked like missing the Royal meeting but connections had a rethink and are confident the son of New Approach can redeem himself back over a mile.

“Dawn Approach is in great form and I have been very happy with his work since he ran at Epsom Downs,” trainer Jim Bolger said.

“I have no reason to think that he is any less of a horse now than when he won the 2000 Guineas.”

Simon Crisford, racing manager of owners Godolphin, expects there to be no repeat of Dawn Approach’s Epsom behaviour especially as stable companion Leitir Mor is in the field.

“Obviously, we have been guided by Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning about Dawn Approach. They are very happy with him,” he said.

“Dawn Approach has a pacemaker, his usual one (Leitir Mor), in the St James’s Palace Stakes and that has to be of assistance.

“He is back over a mile. The pacemaker and an honest pace means there should be no repeat of what happened at Epsom.

“Hopefully, Dawn Approach can reproduce his Guineas effort.”

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