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Criterion Entered For Irish Champion Stakes
Local stars Gleneagles and Free Eagle have been installed as first and second favourite for the €1.1 million Irish Champion Stakes after 60 horses were entered for the Gr1 contest to be run at Leopardstown on 12 September, reports Racing Post. Epsom Derby favourite Golden Horn and stable-mate Jack Hobbs have also been nominated for the race, while the likes of Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, Japanese Derby winner One And Only, French star Cirrus Des Aigles, defending champ The Grey Gatsby, Al Kazeem, Telescope and Australian three-time Gr1 winner Criterion provide a truly international flavour to this year's renewal. A statement from Leopardstown claimed Criterion, who is currently lodging at John Gosden's stables at Newmarket preparing for the Prince Of Wales's Stakes at Royal Ascot, would become the first horse trained in Australia to compete in Ireland should he take part. Pat Keogh, chief executive at Leopardstown, said: "Last year five Group 1 winners took part in a thrilling contest when The Grey Gatsby just prevailed." He added: "We are delighted to see so many top-quality horses entered and it is particularly pleasing to see the international spread of entries including horses from Japan and Australia. The race is currently rated in the top ten in the world and this looks like being another vintage renewal."