One-time Classic contender Amedeo Modigliani may make his long-awaited reappearance at Naas on Sunday.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old is one of 12 entries for the Listed Devoy Stakes over a mile and a quarter, as the new Flat turf season gets under way in Ireland. A son of Galileo, Amedeo Modigliani has not run since winning at Galway in August 2017 - missing the whole of his three-year-old season, having entered the winter as a leading fancy for the Investec Derby. Among the potential opposition is Dermot Weld’s equally lightly-raced filly Hazel Bay.
The once-raced Luceita is one of two possibles for Jim Bolger in the Group Three Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes. Owned by Godolphin, the daughter of Dawn Approach looked promising on her sole three-year-old start when winning at the Curragh.
Blandford Stakes runner-up Who’s Steph features for Ger Lyons, while Group Three victor Yulong Gold Fairy represents Weld. There are 32 entries for the Tote Irish Lincolnshire, including the Bolger-trained Theobald, who has been in good form at Dundalk this year but is also in the Devoy Stakes.
The ageless Aussie Valentine will be looking to extend a remarkable sequence which has seen him reach the frame for the last four years. Twelve months ago, the Aido McGuinness inmate was third to On The Go Again, while he has finished second in 2015, 2016 and 2017. McGuinness said: “Aussie Valentine is in great form.
“He had two nice prep runs in Dundalk and he’s had a couple of grass gallops, he galloped after racing at Leopardstown and worked very well so we are very happy with him.
“He’s a few pounds higher than he was last year, but he likes that type of race. He’ll be very fit from his runs in Dundalk, so that will be a big help to him.”
McGuinness, who won the race in 2005 with Victram and could also be represented by the smart Master Speaker, added: “We are stepping Master Speaker up in trip. He finished strongly in Galway last year over seven furlongs.
“Hopefully he’ll run a nice race. Sprinters don’t really go for Lincolns, but the owners are keen to run so we are going have a shot at it.
“He ran a cracker in the Cambridgeshire and is older and stronger now so we are going to take a punt in the Lincoln with him as it is a nice pot.”
The weights are headed by the Jessica Harrington-trained Marshall Jennings, who was a course and distance winner last May.