Flying The Flag news: Magical Captures 4th Gr1 Win, First Race For Aiden O’Brien

Aidan O’Brien described Magical as “the ultimate racehorse” after a typically resolute success in the Gr1 Champion Stakes gave the trainer his first success in the race on Saturday. “Every day, she wakes up with a total clean sheet,” O’Brien said. “She accepts everything on the chin and says what do you want me to do today? It’s internally with her, it’s her mind. She never says no.”

The feature event on Champions Day was Magical’s ninth start of the season, just a fortnight after finishing fifth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and while the decision to switch the race to the hurdles track meant that the going was soft rather than heavy, it was still demanding enough to suck the enthusiasm from any horse sensing the end of a long campaign.

Magical, though, never looked likely to yield her lead after hitting the front under Donnacha O’Brien more than a furlong out. Addeybb stayed on to finish a three-quarter length second, with the Japanese mare Deirdre, back in third. It was the fourth Group One win of her career and even now, Magical may not be done for the season as a return to the Breeders’ Cup meeting for the Filly & Mare Turf is under serious consideration.

“She’s totally sound, mentally and physically,” O’Brien said. “Her mind is incredible. I think a mile-and-a-quarter is her ideal trip, but she gets a mile-and-a-half because of her class.

Flying The Flag at Bush Hill Stud. Image: Candiese Marnewick
Flying The Flag at Bush Hill Stud. Image: Candiese Marnewick

“The Arc was a strongly run race and she has come out of that and won here. She handles ease in the ground, she goes on fast ground, what can you say? The lads [in the Coolmore syndicate] will decide if we go to the Breeders’ Cup with her [but] if you asked her, she’d be delighted.”

Magical was a close second behind Enable in the Turf last year and would face another stern opponent in Chad Brown’s Grade One-winner Sistercharlie, the defending champion in the Filly & Mare Turf, if she heads to Santa Anita on 2 November. She is top-priced at 11-4 to round off her season with an extra flourish, while Sistercharlie is a 9-4 chance.

Magical’s win put the seal on an excellent afternoon for Donnacha O’Brien, who took over aboard his father’s main runners on the card after Ryan Moore, the stable jockey, made the long trip to Australia for an ultimately fruitless attempt to win a valuable race in Sydney overnight.

Flying The Flag’s first crop are now unraced 2yo’s and he has three lots on offer at the upcoming Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale.

Flying The Flag stands at Bush Hill Stud.


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