Churchill declared by Aidan O'Brien for Irish Champion battle

Thu 7 Sep 2017

Churchill is the star attraction in a 10-strong field declared for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.

This season's dual 2000 Guineas hero chased home Ulysses in the Juddmonte International at York but is a hot favourite to get back on the winning trail and provide Aidan O'Brien with an eighth success in this Group One event.

The Ballydoyle handler also saddles Epsom Derby runner-up Cliffs Of Moher, who was fourth in the Juddmonte, and Secretariat Stakes second Taj Mahal.

The British challenge is headed by Martyn Meade's stable star Eminent, who enjoyed a confidence-boosting Group Two success at Deauville a few weeks ago and will be partnered by Frankie Dettori for the first time.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Poet's Word and Decorated Knight from Roger Charlton's stable also make the journey across the Irish Sea.

Dermot Weld saddles The Grey Gatsby, who won this prize in 2014 when trained by Kevin Ryan, and Grade One-winning mare Zhukova.

Jim Bolger's Moonlight Magic and Ken Condon's stable stalwart Success Days complete the line-up.

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