Monday 18 December 2017

Dempsey gets Stuc' in

Trainer Dermot Weld has booked in-form jockey Luke Dempsey to claim off top weight Stuccodor who will bid for back-to-back wins in the Tote Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh on Sunday.

Declarations for the opening meeting at HQ were made this morning and fresh from a Cheltenham Festival winner earlier this month and a winner at Cork yesterday for his boss Gordon Elliott, Dempsey, who was formerly apprenticed to Johnny Murtagh, will switch codes to ride the top weight in the €100,000 contest.

"I think he'll run a big race," Weld said in a stable tour this week. "Luke Dempsey rode Hisaabaat for me at Cheltenham and I was impressed by everything about him. I think he's a guy with a big future."

Stuccodor also had the option of lining up in the English equivalent at Doncaster tomorrow afternoon but with the horse more likely to get his preferred softer conditions at the Curragh, Weld stayed local.

Pat Smullen, who rides Weld's other runner, Defining Year, in the Irish Lincoln, will be in Doncaster tomorrow however, along with fellow Irish based rider Chris Hayes as they both picked up spare rides in the English Lincoln.

Smullen will team up with trainer George Baker on the course and distance winner Belgian Bill, while Hayes has picked up two mounts for Brian Ellison, Baraweez who was twice a winner in Ireland last season, in the feature race and newcomer General Alexander in the opening two-year-old maiden.

Meanwhile, trainer Ger Lyons has indicated that Cappella Sansevero will go straight to either the English 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket or the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh for his first start this season.

"He's really developed," Lyons said. "I made a mistake with him last year. I should have gone for the Dewhurst with him, and not the Middle Park.

"He was only getting going at the end of the Middle Park, so the Dewhurst was the race for him.

"This year he could go straight for the Guineas, either the English or the Irish. It's probably unlikely he will have a prep run."

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