O’Brien hails ‘amazing’ Magical as brilliant mare heads for retirement

Aidan O’Brien has paid tribute to Magical after the retirement of the multiple Group One-winning mare Magical was confirmed.

The daughter of Galileo won seven times at the highest level, including back-to-back victories in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.

She looked set to start her broodmare career after rounding off her 2019 campaign with victory in the Champion Stakes at Ascot, but was brought back as a five-year-old this season and it has proved a wise decision as she has added three further Group One wins.

Since successfully defending her Irish Champion Stakes crown in September, Magical has finished third in the Champion Stakes at Ascot, second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and third in the Hong Kong Cup.

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She was second three times to Enable in her career, most memorably in an epic Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in 2018.

O’Brien offered brief hope she could return to the track in 2021 in the immediate aftermath of her outing at Sha Tin earlier this month, but her retirement was officially announced by Coolmore on social media on Tuesday.

Coolmore posted on Twitter: “Brilliant 7-time Gr.1 winner Magical has been retired and will join the broodmare band @coolmorestud. Mating plans yet to be decided.”

O’Brien told PA: “She was a great filly, she ran at the very top level all the time until she retired.

“She was ultra-consistent and just an amazing filly, really. She travelled a lot. She won three Group Ones this year and I was delighted to have her again this year, it was a brave decision of the lads to keep her in training.

Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan with Magical after victory in the Irish Champion Stakes
Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan with Magical after victory in the Irish Champion Stakes (PA)

“The days that stand out are the Champion Stakes. She was amazing, she always turned up. She was tough, she was consistent and had a super mind and was very sound.

“Her mum (Halfway To Heaven) was a queen, she was a queen and she was by Galileo, so I suppose you could call him the king.

“It would be exciting to train her offspring.”

In all Magical won 12 of her 28 career starts and was placed on a further 10 occasions, earning almost £4.9million in prize-money.

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