Gleneagles pulls out of Irish Champion Stakes

RacingBy Sunday World

Gleneagles will not run in this evening's Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown due to the conditions being deemed unsuitable.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien decided not to risk his dual 2000 Guineas winner on the rain-softened ground, despite efforts by the course executive to run the Group One on the best possible going.

O'Brien said: "The going is just a bit on the wrong side for him.

"I'm sorry for everybody, everybody has done their best and I know they are going to be disappointed, but it's the right thing for the horse.

"We always thought a mile was his trip, but we were going to give him a chance at a mile and a quarter - we were nearly there, but that's the way it is.

"It looked all along that we were going to get there, but I couldn't believe it when Nessa (Joyce, operations manager) said they got 27 millimetres.

"He was ready today, as ready as he possibly could be.

"As for plans, we'll just have to see again."

The ground eased after rain overnight on Friday to shatter the prospects of a showdown between Gleneagles and Investec Derby winner Golden Horn, just as it did before the Juddmonte International at York.

Gleneagles has missed other big races, including the Sussex Stakes, in similar circumstances since winning the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.