Thursday 18 July 2019

Lagostovegas can hit jackpot for Mullins


Lagostovegas can provide the all-conquering Willie Mullins with a first-ever victory in the Stobart Rail & Civils Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

The high-class dual-purpose mare is sent back into battle just 11 days after securing Mullins a fourth Ascot Stakes success, where she travelled strongly and ultimately won with something to spare.

The fact that she lines up at Gosforth Park with only a 6lb penalty was clearly too tempting for Mullins to refuse, with the handicapper likely to make more drastic action once given the chance.

Lagostovegas was no match for Withhold when having to settle for third in last season's Cesarewitch at Newmarket, but she is significantly better off at the weights for the rematch and is match fit, whereas Withhold has not been seen since.

The Mullins runner appears to have a nice starting position in stall six and everything points to a big run.

Here in Ireland, Marie's Diamond has been confirmed an intended runner in the GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow.

Mark Johnston's juvenile has won two of his four starts to date, with his only disappointing display coming at Epsom in the Woodcote Stakes.

Connections put that run down to the ground and will be watching declarations closely to see which of Aidan O'Brien's five runners will be turning up.

"The plan is to run. We're not sure what happened at Epsom, we think it might have been the soft ground," said Mike Prince of owners Middleham Park Racing.

"He's by Footstepsinthesand so fast ground is his thing.

"I suppose it all depends what Aidan runs, really, but he doesn't usually run his best ones in this so we'll see if Sergei Prokofiev runs or not.

"As Silvestre (de Sousa) was coming over for Dee Ex Bee in the Derby he's free to ride which is a bonus, too."

Dubai World Cup winner Thunder Snow could have two starts before a mouthwatering clash with American Triple Crown hero Justify and Mendelssohn in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs in November.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor has earmarked the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park in September as a potential port of call for the four-year-old, along with the Juddmonte International Stakes at York in August.

The Newmarket handler reported the colt, who holds entries in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown, in good form despite not being sighted since March.

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