Favourite primed for a fourth Irish Leger

TRAINER Dermot Weld is “very hopeful” that Vinnie Roe can land an unprecedented fourth successive victory in the Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh today.

"Vinnie Roe is very well and we are very hopeful. No excuse, the ground is perfect," said Weld yesterday.

The going at the Curragh is described as good on the round course and good to yielding on the straight track.

Vinnie Roe, 9-4 favourite with Cashmans, will be accompanied by stable companion Media Puzzle.

The seven-year-old won the 2002 Melbourne Cup but was off the track after that until finishing fifth of six in a 10-furlong Group Two race at the Curragh last month.

Aidan O'Brien has a three-strong team headed by last year's Doncaster St Leger hero Brian Boru, who will be ridden by Jamie Spencer. He will be accompanied to post by Napoleon and Two Miles West, the only three-year-olds in the 14-strong field.

There are six British raiders in the line-up and former top jockey Joe Mercer believes Dubai Success has a good chance of "being in the money".

Mercer, champion jockey in 1979, is racing manager to Maktoum Al Maktoum, owner of the Barry Hills-trained five-year-old.

"Dubai Success is in great form the softer the ground the better," he said.

"On his early-spring form he'd have a great chance of being in the money and I think if the ground remains really soft, he would have a big shout. Barry's horses are beginning to strike form, so we'll see."

Mercer has a double interest in the Irish Classic as he is also racing manager to Saeed Suhail, owner of Lonsdale Cup winner First Charter, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute.

"First Charter won very well at York. He handled the ground and has done well this year. You've got to run a horse of his calibre in these sort of races," he added.

"The ground tomorrow can't be any worse than at York. It was tacky, but First Charter went through it - and I always thought he was a top of the ground horse. He coped with it very well."

Orange Touch, trained by Amanda Perrett, was supplemented for the race following his 11-length success at Goodwood on his latest start.

Chris Richardson, managing director of owners the Cheveley Park Stud, said: "The rain has come in time. I think he will benefit from some ease in the ground. Obviously he is taking on some very good horses but this was the logical step for him and now it's fingers crossed."

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