Giant's Causeway Best in Irish Champion Stakes

Giant's Causeway dueled with Best of the Bests through the stretch, edged clear of that rival in the final furlong, and held off the late closing Greek Dance to win the ESAT Digifone Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) by a 1/2 length Saturday at Leopardstown, Ireland. The win marks the fifth group I win in succession for Mrs. John Magnier and Micheal Tabor's 3-year-old colt, who completed the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.1 over good to firm ground. Greek Dance finished second, a length ahead of Best of the Bests. Indian Danehill, Sumitas, Apollo Victoria, and Manhattan completed the order of finish.

Giant's Causeway (Storm Cat--Mariah's Storm, by Rahy) was bred in America by Orpendale and Tabor, and was ridden to victory by Michael Kinane. The win is the fourth against his elders for Giant's Causeway, who previously won the Juddmonte International Stakes (Eng-I), the Coral Eclipse Stakes (Eng. I), and the Champagne Lanson Sussex Stakes (Eng-I). Prior to his four wins in open company, the Aidan O'Brien defeated fellow 3-year-olds in the St. James Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot after suffering his only two defeats on the year, finishing second in both the Entemanns Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) and the Sagitta Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I).

"He's a brilliant horse and we are only at the tip of the iceberg in ability with him," O'Brien told Sporting Life. "He was at his heaviest today after his week off and he was only playing with other horses. Michael (Kinane) was very happy with him and when he heard the other horse coming he quickened again."