Horse racing tips: Irish Champion Stakes trends – we help you find the winner of the Leopardstown contest.

AS you might expect at this level, you have to be a classy performer to take the Irish Champion Stakes.

The official ratings are a good guide with none of the past 10 winners clocking in below 118.

That means we can cross out Headman, Madhmoon, Deirdre, Magic Wand and Hunting Horn who all fall short on that score.

That has quickly cut the field down to three real contenders – Elarqam, Magical and Anthony Van Dyck.

Nine of the past 10 Champions had already tasted glory at Group 1 level. That spells bad news for Elarqam.

He has had two attempts in that class, with a sixth in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and third to Japan in the Juddmonte International at York last time. That leaves him with a little to find on the trends.

Given how plenty of Derby winners like Anthony Van Dyck have gone on to win this you can make a case for the current Epsom hero. But his 10th place at Ascot last time is very much against the trends.

That leaves the way clear for MAGICAL to end eight years of hurt for trainer Aidan O’Brien. The master of Ballydoyle hasn’t taken this since So You Think in 2011 but can end that sequence today.

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