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Quartet of Irish winners to qualify for Breeders' Cup

Four Irish Group One races will form part of this year's Breeders' Cup Challenge series, it was announced yesterday.

The winners of the Curragh's Stobart Ireland Pretty Polly, Moyglare and Vincent O'Brien National Stakes, along with the successful horse in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, will automatically qualify for the two-day Churchill Downs gala that gets under way on November 4.

A total of 68 races worldwide make up the 2011 series. For the first time, each winner of a qualifying event will have its Breeders' Cup entry paid for, while connections will also be eligible for a $20,000 travel allowance ahead of the climax to the Flat season in Kentucky.

High Chaparral, which took the Champion Stakes en route to his second successive triumph in the Breeders' Cup Turf eight years ago, is the last winner of any of the nominated domestic races to have gone on to glory in America.

The entries for this year's Pretty Polly, scheduled for the second day of the Derby Festival on Saturday, June 25, were also revealed yesterday.

Snow Fairy, the 2010 Irish Oaks winner, and Midday, whose haul of five Group Ones includes the 2009 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, are among the early line-up.

In a further boost for The Curragh, Michael Stoute has confirmed that last year's Epsom Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe hero Workforce will get his 2011 campaign underway in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on May 22.

Irish Independent