Latest Racing News
Trust Takar to deliver in Desmond Stakes
THERE is a sumptuous three-course meal on the menu at Leopardstown on Thursday evening.
Watching dual Derby winner Camelot work at four o’clock will be a delicious appetiser and will whet your appetite for the main course, a superb-seven race card. Then for dessert, you have legendary Irish band The Saw Doctors performing live on stage after racing. It doesn’t get much tastier than that.
The highlight of the race programme is the €57,500 Group 3 Desmond Stakes (7.25pm) and John Oxx, who last won the race in 2005 with Caradak, is double-handed with Native Khan and Takar.
The latter comes into the contest on the back of two impressive wins and is sure to relish the conditions. He looks the likely favourite and Oxx is hoping for a bold showing, particularly with the recent deluge of rain softening the ground.
Oxx said: “We were hoping for good ground to see how effective Takar might be on it, but after the rain they've had it is probably going to be on the easy side and we know he handles that sort of ground well. So easy ground will definitely boost his chances.
“Native Khan will run only if the ground is no slower than yielding. He was very rusty on his first two starts for us. He seems to have come on since his last run and we're keen to run him, but he doesn't want testing ground.”
Rock Critic looked a very classy hurdler in the making when striding effortless clear to win on his jumping debut at the Galway Festival but Dermot Weld expects him to give a good account back on the Flat.
He said: “He hasn't run in a Group race before but he's fit and well and has shown himself adaptable ground wise. He takes his chance and should give a good account.”
Royal Ascot winner Duntle and Requisition, from Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable, are both open to plenty of improvement while British raider Penitent is sure to relish the testing condition.
He will certainly make his presence felt but he lacks the scope of Takar who should be able to maintain his winning run.
The Ger Lyons-trained Piri Wango has been performing in a couple of top handicaps lately and he should prove hard to beat in the €20,000 Saw Doctors Handicap (6.25pm) under Emmet McNamara.
There are some beautifully-bred newcomers in action in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden (6.55pm) but they would want to be pretty special to dispose of Hall Of Mirrors who made such a promising debut when third at the Curragh.
It promises to be a cracking evening’s entertainment and remember to get there early in order to get a glimpse of Camelot. You won’t be disappointed.