Friday 21 October 2016

Gordon Lord Byron set to lord it again at the Curragh

Hogan set to return to Curragh on Sunday with his stable star in the Minstrel Stakes


THE globe-trotting Group One performer Gordon Lord Byron is set to have two consecutive starts in Ireland for the first time since 2012 when lining up in Sunday's Minstrel Stakes at the Curragh.

Tom Hogan's stable star was a facile winner of the listed Dubai Duty Free Dash Stakes on Derby weekend and he is set to return for Sunday's Group Three contest as he warms up for some bigger assignments later in the season.


A winner of over €2m in prizemoney, the seven-year-old's trainer couldn't be happier with Gordon Lord Byron following a racecourse gallop last weekend.

"The horse is in brilliant form since he last ran," revealed Hogan. "I just let him stretch his legs after racing in Tipperary on Saturday evening and he's in wonderful form so we'll head for the Minstrel Stakes and we'll see where we go after that.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he is better than ever he was," he added.

Ground conditions at the Curragh are currently described as 'good' by the racecourse but Hogan is now concerned about the potential of rainfall at the Kildare track.

"It doesn't matter what happens with the weather as he is equally proficient on firm ground - as he was the last day at the Curragh - or with an ease so it doesn't matter to him."

Looking further ahead with the horse who has won at the highest level in France, England and Australia as well as winning seven times in Ireland, Hogan has a couple of Group One targets.

"We'll probably go from the Curragh to the Maurice De Gheest over six and a half furlongs (at Deauville) and that suits us and I'd love to have a crack at Charlie Hills' good three-year-old (Muhaarar) while I'm in good form so we'll go for the Haydock Sprint after that and we should meet him in both those races.

"Fortune favours the brave so we'll always have a cut!"

Moviesta, meanwhile, is set to have his first outing in Ireland since joining Eddie Lynam in Saturday's Invincible Spirit Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh.

He made his debut for Lynam in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and after running well for a long way, the lack of a recent outing took its toll inside the final furlong.

Winner of the King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood two years ago for Bryan Smart, Moviesta finished second in the same race 12 months ago and the five-furlong contest is on his agenda again.

However, he will first head to the Curragh this coming weekend.

"The ground looks like being fine for him, even if they get some rain tomorrow," said part-owner Ritchie Fiddes.

"Eddie says he'll run even if it's good to soft. We're hoping for good ground, if not quicker.


"There were lots of positives to take out of Ascot as he was really settled in the preliminaries, but he was drawn one and just couldn't get any cover.

"The race just came two or three weeks too early for him. Eddie would have loved to have got a run into him beforehand but ran out of time.

"He's dropping back to five and that will stand him in good stead ahead of the return for his race at Goodwood, then he'll have plenty of options after that.

"Even though we missed the first half of the season, the thing about being with Eddie is that it is a 12-month season and the aim is to take him out to Dubai again."

Possible rivals include the Michael Dods-trained Mecca's Angel, with Fiddes well aware of her claims as every other horse he has in training is with the Darlington handler.

He added: "There's every chance he could meet Mecca's, there was plenty of talk this morning."

Promoted articles

Entertainment News