Slim defence against Shaamit

Shaamit, the Derby winner, could face just six rivals when he lines up in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday. The colt was one of 12 acceptors for the Group One race yesterday but nearly half the list, including Classic winners Bosra Sham and Zagreb, are expected to miss the race.

Shaamit, who will be reunited with Michael Hills after being partnered by Pat Eddery when third in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot, leads a probable three-pronged British assault. Glory Of Dancer, fourth to Shaamit at Epsom, will be ridden by Olivier Peslier, while Gary Carter has been given the mount on the Godolphin runner, Tamayaz.

Ireland, without a win in the race for 10 years, will be represented by the recent Chicago winner Timarida, as well as Idris, supplemented for the race yesterday, and Dance Design, the most likely runner of Dermot Weld's three entries.

Zagreb will run only if there is an unexpected deterioration in the weather at Leopardstown, where the ground is riding firm.

Henry Cecil has left Bosra Sham and Storm Trooper in the race but is not expected to run either, with the former likely to have a work-out after racing at Doncaster. Michael Stoute intends to send Singspiel to Goodwood on Saturday for the Group Three Select Stakes, where Cash Asmussen will take the ride

IRISH CHAMPION STAKES: Declarations: Definite Article, Idris, Singspiel, Tamayaz, Timarida, Glory Of Dancer, Shaamit, Storm Trooper, Trivellino, Zagreb, Bosra Sham, Dance Design.