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Thursday 14 December 2017

Australia looks to be just Champion

Dual Derby hero Australia remains in contention for both the Qipco Champion Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes following the latest acceptance stage for the major events on Champions Day at Ascot later this month.

Following his runaway victories at Epsom and the Curragh, Aidan O'Brien's colt beat his elders in the Juddmonte International at York before suffering a shock reverse at the hands of old foe The Grey Gatsby in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Grey Gatsby could reoppose on October 18, while O'Brien also has the likes of Magician, Ruler Of The World and Adelaide in contention. Other possible Champion Stakes hopefuls include Dermot Weld's Free Eagle, the William Haggas-trained Mukhadram and Corine Barande-Barbe's pride and joy Cirrus Des Aigles.

trip

Winner of the race in 2011 and runner-up behind Frankel and Farhh respectively the last two years, Cirrus Des Aigles will warm up for another trip to Berkshire in the Prix Dollar at Longchamp.

Australia features among 21 entries for the QEII, with Freddy Head's Charm Spirit, Sir Michael Stoute's mare Integral and Richard Hannon's trio of milers Olympic Glory, Toronado and Night Of Thunder in contention.

In the QIPCO British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes, O'Brien's Chicquita, last year's winner Seal of Approval, Taghrooda, Tapestry and Tarfasha are among 21 fillies and mares in the mix.

There are 37 horses going forward for the British Champions Sprint including the likes of Gordon Lord Byron, Aljamaaheer and Eddie Lynam's pair of top-class sprinters Sole Power and Slade Power.

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