Magical pulls a rabbit out of a hat to beat world's top-rated horse Ghaiyyath in Irish Champion StakesSeptember 12, 2020
MAGICAL pulled off her most impressive trick yet with a brilliant defeat of Ghaiyyath in the Irish Champion Stakes.
Aidan O'Brien's wonder mare battled it out with the world's top-rated horse up the home straight and edged ahead close home to retain her crown.
The five-year-old made virtually all the running to win the race last year, but this time she shadowed her old rival who went from the front, a tactic which has brought him a huge amount of success this season.
As they turned into the straight, Magical (9-2) was travelling every bit as well as Ghaiyyath (8-13f), and the pair were neck and neck entering the final furlong.
She had to settle for second at York in the Juddmonte International, but this time she got her revenge as she stayed on powerfully to win by three quarters of a length under Seamie Heffernan.
Coral halved Magical to 10-1 from 20s for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, while if she is 6-1 (from 8s) to defend her Champion Stakes crown at Ascot.
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O'Brien said: "She loves to eyeball a horse, she loves to battle and she is one serious mare. Seamus gave her a brilliant ride.
"She eyeballed the colt all the way and she isn't a horse you want to get into a fight with. It wasn't a big field but they were all good horses, so we are over the moon.
"The lads made the call to keep her in training this year and all credit to them for doing it. She was booked to go to No Nay Never but we decided to give her another go.
"Something like the Breeders' Cup would suit her really well."
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