Ballydoyle Star stars in Irish Champions Stakes

Luxembourg (3c Camelot - Attire, by Danehill Dancer) fulfilled the hopes of Aidan O’Brien with a return to his brilliant best in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

Unbeaten as a two-year-old, including at Group 1 level, the son of Camelot overcame a stumble at the start of the 2,000 Guineas to finish a gallant third, but was dealt the blow of a muscle injury after the race. O’Brien was confident his charge would vastly improve after his return in the Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes, which he won at the expense of Insinuendo (Gleneagles), but faced the likes of Vadeni (Churchill) and Mishriff on Saturday.

Held up in midfield by Ryan Moore, he was pushed along to make headway after the two furlong marker and was ridden to dispute a furlong from home. Running on well under pressure, he asserted close home to deny Grand Prix de Paris victor Onesto by half a length on the line. Dual Group 1 winner Vadeni (Churchill) weaved a path along the inside to finish third.

“I'm delighted for the horse,” Ryan Moore said after the race. “He's had a tough year but he's done that very well. He beat a real deep field, they are all good horses in there today, and he's put them away nicely. I think there is more to come from him, he certainly gives that impression, as he's not blowing overly hard.”

O’Brien, who was celebrating a fourth consecutive win in the prestigious Group 1, said, “It was an unbelievable effort from all the team to get this horse back and Ryan gave him an incredible ride. Ryan was very impressed and he’s not an optimist by nature!”

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is next on the agenda for Luxembourg, who is owned by Westerberg, Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. Bought by MV Magnier as a yearling, the son of Camelot was bred by Ben Sangster out of Attire (Danehill Dancer), whose previous progeny include Group 2 scorer Leo De Fury (Australia).

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