Japanese Group One will gain winner automatic entry to Irish Champion Stakes

Mon 6 Mar 2017

Leopardstown is hoping to attract a Japanese runner for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes after announcing the winner of the Group One Osaka Hai will gain an automatic entry to the 10-furlong feature.

The Osaka Hai is contested over 10 furlongs at Hanshin racecourse on April 2, with subsequent Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe second Orfevre lifting the race before heading to Europe.

The winner of that race will be offered a complimentary entry to the Irish Champion Stakes on September 9, with officials at the course eager to draw a Japanese star for their flagship event.

Brian Kavanagh, chief executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said: "It is an important goal of Leopardstown to have a Japanese runner in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes.

"Pat Keogh and his team are very keen to promote the highlight of Longines Irish Champions Weekend to the widest international audience possible and Japan is very important in that. Last year the race was the joint second highest rated race in the world and the best in Europe."

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