Dermot Weld’s Stuccodor will have to carry top weight to victory if he bids for back-to-back wins in the Tote Irish Lincolnshire on Sunday as the Irish Flat season gets under way at the Currgah.
He has only been seen twice since his win 12 months ago, having finished third in a Listed race at Cork and second in a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse.
George Baker’s Boomshackerlacker, Ralph Beckett’s Haaf A Sixpence, Kevin Ryan’s Lesha and Karl Burke’s You’re Fired are the British-trained entries remaining.
Among the home team is Ger Lyons’ Chapter Seven, Third Dimension and Unsinkable, Aidan O’Brien’s Bishan Bedi and Jim Bolger’s Intensical and Mandatario.
The opening Tally Ho Stud Maiden is a race Bolger has won with the likes of Dawn Approach and this year he has entered Godolphin’s Tribal Beat, a half-brother to the smart mare Tasaday.
O’Brien has a Fastnet Rock colt entered called Californiadreaming.
In the Group Three Park Express Stakes, Karl Burke’s Odeliz could attempt to go one better than last year when she was narrowly touched off.
Weld’s Afternoon Sunlight, O’Brien’s Easter and Paul Deegan’s Avenue Gabriel all look major players.
As has become tradition, O’Brien is set to have an illustrious team of horses gallop after racing.
Curragh manager Paul Hensey said: “Aidan O’Brien has booked in a big team of horses to gallop after racing and I suspect they will include many of the favourites for this season’s Classic races.
“We’re looking at mostly dry weather, with some showers on Wednesday and maybe Saturday morning, but generally it is to be cold and dry and obviously it depends on how much rain falls but I expect the ground to be yielding for Sunday.”
Looking ahead to the meeting, he added; “This is the start of a very significant year for us at the Curragh as we’ll have the 150th running of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby in June and it’s terrific to be starting back with what looks to be a strong and very competitive looking Tote Irish Lincolnshire.”
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