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Irish Champions An Option For Al Kazeem
Comeback galloper Al Kazeem (Dubawi-Kazeem, by Darshaan) could be set for a return to Gr1 company with trainer Roger Charlton considering a tilt at next month's Irish Champion Stakes (10 furlongs) at Leopardstown, reports attheraces.com. The three-time Gr1 winner, who proved sub-fertile when retired to The Queen's Royal Studs last year, claimed his first win since returning to competition when landing the Gr3 Winter Hill Stakes (10 furlongs) at Windsor last weekend. Speaking on his website rogercharlton.com, the trainer said: "Al Kazeem did all that could have been expected from him, returning to the winner's enclosure in great style and in the process lowering the course record by 1.33 seconds which I gather is the equivalent of seven or eight lengths." He added, "He has come out of his race well and he was his normal fresh and happy self this morning, in fact he dropped his regular rider whilst trotting. Unfortunately there are no Group races over nine or 10 furlongs in England during September so we have not ruled out the idea of returning to Leopardstown to run in the Irish Champion Stakes." Al Kazeem's owner John Deer, is keen to see how the 6YO performs for the remainder of the season before deciding on his long-term future, but has raised the possibility of him staying in training in 2015. "We will see how he runs next time and if all goes well, we could end up in the big one (Champion Stakes) on Champions Day at Ascot," said Deer. "He was terrific on Saturday and it was a big relief. There are so many questions for a horse to answer when they come back from stud. He obviously still has the will to win, the other question is whether he still has his old ability. He's a very calm horse, which helps, so we'll see what happens."