David Marnane plans to let a back-on-song Santo Padre take his chance in Saturday’s Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh.
There is plenty of strength to the entries for the Group Three sprint as Aidan O’Brien has entered a clutch of interesting three-year-olds against their elders with Crusade, Power, Nephrite and Reply in his team.
Last year’s winner Hitchens, trained by David Barron, forms part of a formidable British representation alongside Royal Rock, Alben Star, Bated Breath, Definightly, Morache Music, Jimmy Styles, Tiddliwinks, Mayson, Bannock and Bogart.
Santo Padre was third, beaten just under three lengths by Hitchens and Tiddliwinks 12 months ago and his trainer has been buoyed by the fact the gelding claimed his first win since the 2009 Portland Handicap when pulling away in the Woodlands Stakes at Naas.
“The plan was to go for the Listed race and then for this, so hopefully we’ll get some nice ground,” said Marnane.
“He ran some good races last year, he was also second at Haydock, even though we were never quite happy with him. He’s come out of his last run well and I’d like to think he could run a good race.”