Racing: Kooyonga to take on elite

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The Independent Online
IRELAND'S two best horses for almost a decade are to meet in the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday week. Michael Kauntze was yesterday given permission by Kooyonga's owner, Mitsuo Haga, to saddle the filly against St Jovite. With Peter Chapple-Hyam prepared to run either the 2,000 Guineas winner, Rodrigo De Triano, or the Derby winner, Dr Devious, Leopardstown may be about to stage the event of the season.

Kooyonga was never a threat to Rodrigo De Triano in the International at York, when she was virtually pulled up. But she was found to have been in season on her return to Ireland and Kauntze will carry out a hormone analysis on her before the Leopardstown race.

'Kooyonga was very quiet for three days after York but she is in great form now,' he said. 'The good thing is that we will have two current Classic winners taking on a four-year-old Classic winner and that doesn't happen very often anywhere. The handicapper doesn't give Kooyonga much of a chance but it is great to be part of the race.'