Irish Champion Stakes: Luxembourg on target for Leopardstown Group One as Baaeed skips race for Arc or Ascot | Racing News

Luxembourg is on course for what is shaping up to be a mouthwatering Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday week.

The one-time Derby favourite ran a fine race to be third in the 2000 Guineas on his reappearance, but missed Epsom with a setback and only made his return to action at the Curragh earlier this month.

While not a wide-margin winner of the Royal Whip, Aidan O’Brien was at pains to say how happy he was afterwards and that significant progress was expected.

Now he is set to clash with Vadeni, Onesto and possibly Mishriff in the Royal Bahrain-sponsored showpiece on the opening day of Irish Champions Weekend.

O’Brien said: “The Irish Champion Stakes is the plan for Luxembourg. Everything has been good with him and I’m very happy with him since his last run. So far so good.

“He was just ready to go racing, we were so delighted he got to the races and then we were delighted he had to fight.

Aidan O'Brien is aiming Luxembourg at the 2000 Guineas before a possible shot at the Derby
Image:
Aidan O’Brien with Luxembourg at home at Ballydoyle

“He had to run the last three furlongs hard because Willie’s filly (McCreery, Insinuendo) took him on, which was good.

“We’re delighted with him and everything has been good since.”

Luxembourg is a best-priced 5/1 second favourite behind 6/4 market leader Vadeni following the news on Sunday that Baaeed will not take his chance.

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