Star-Studded Field Entered for Irish Group One

Racing Post
Aidan O'Brien took no chances on Thursday and declared both of his superstars, Hawk Wing and High Chaparral, for the Ireland The Food Island Champion Stakes.

He has stressed all week that Hawk Wing is an intended runner in Saturday's Group 1 contest, along with Sholokhov, and his Eclipse Stakes winner has been quoted as short as 2-5 favorite ante-post.

But the trainer's string is only just emerging from the effects of illness, with his Reach For The Moon having to be scratched at the last minute from last weekend's Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh after coughing.

So, in an apparent bid to prevent a repetition at Leopardstown, he also left High Chaparral in the Champion at today's final declaration stage, even though the stated target for the English Derby winner is the Prix Niel at Longchamp eight days later.

A field of nine was declared for the 10-furlong contest, with Godolphin running Grandera (to be ridden by Frankie Dettori) and Best Of The Bests (Jamie Spencer).

Pat Smullen has been handed the mount on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained No Excuse Needed, with Johnny Murtagh on Gerard Butler's Common World.

Those aiming for only a second home victory since 1996 include Jim Bolger's Irish Oaks winner Margarula and Kevin Prendergast's Rebelline, though the latter needs a softening in the currently good to firm ground to ensure her participation.

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