Hawkbill added to Irish Champion Stakes field

Hawkbill (near side) will compete in the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes

Coral-Eclipse hero Hawkbill and French Derby winner Almanzor have been added to the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10 following the second entry stage.

Trained by Charlie Appleby, Royal Ascot winner Hawkbill extended his winning run to six when beating The Gurkha at Sandown, while Jean-Claude Rouget’s Almanzor was a length and a half too good for Zarak at Chantilly.

The join an initial entry which is headed by Dermot Weld’s dual Derby victor Harzand and Coronation Cup winner Postponed (Roger Varian). There are 38 horses remaining in the race compared to 26 at this stage 12 months ago and of those 20 are Group or Grade One winners.

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Meanwhile, Rouget’s Qemah, who added to her Coronation Stakes win in the Prix Rothschild last weekend, and Aidan O’Brien’s star filly Minding headline the 26 still in the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes on the same card.

O’Brien’s Order Of St George and Bondi Beach feature in the entries for the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger at the Curragh 24 hours later, while Alexios Komnenos, trained by Tommy Stack, and Weld’s Currency Converter have been added to the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.

Last year’s winner Sole Power is among 33 entries for the Group Two Derrinstown Stud Flying Five. Eddie Lynam’s veteran speedster could be taken on by the three horses who finished directly behind him in 2015 – Maarek, Take Cover and Toscanini.

David Griffiths’ Take Cover, winner of the King George Stakes at Goodwood last week, is among 20 entries from Britain. They include Mecca’s Angel clear-cut scorer of the Sapphire Stakes over the course and distance last month.

The Flying Five was only upgraded to Group Two status last year and the aim is for it to be promoted to a Group One.

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