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Ebanoran takes International Stakes test at Curragh

Updated: Saturday, 28 Jun 2014 12:13 | Comments

Fascinating Rock wins ahead of Ebanoran at Leopardstown in May
Fascinating Rock wins ahead of Ebanoran at Leopardstown in May

John Oxx feels a drop back in distance in the Friarstown Stud International Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday can do the trick for Ebanoran following a disappointing run in the Investec Derby.

The Oasis Dream colt failed to last out the mile and a half when coming home ninth behind Australia in the Epsom Classic.

He reverts back to mile and a quarter, a distance over which he had finished first past the post, though he was subsequently demoted to second, in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown.

"He didn't stay at Epsom, he didn't seem to end it out. The last two furlongs were difficult for him," said Oxx.

"This is a good distance for him. He has a good turn of foot and he's thrived since Epsom.

"He seems to be continuing to go the right way, so I'm hoping he has a good run in him on Sunday."

Ebanoran is one of a trio of three-year-olds, along with the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair of Agena and Mekong River, taking on just two older horses in a five-strong field.

Mekong River won his first four starts as a juvenile, but the closest he has gone since then was when second to stablemate Adelaide in the Gallinule Stakes at the Curragh five weeks ago.

Agena won his only start last term and was a promising third to the Oxx-trained Ponfeigh on his return at Navan two weeks ago.

At five, Jim Bolger's Parish Hall is the oldest member of the party and has regularly been tried at the highest level as was the case at Royal Ascot last week when he was sixth to The Fugue in the Prince of Wales's Stakes.

The David Marnane-trained Elleval, who was last in action at Meydan in March, completes the quintet.

Elleval won a valuable handicap in Dubai and has been off since World Cup night, where he was a close seventh in the Godolphin Mile.

Marnane said: "He's had a good break since Dubai and is in good form. We're looking forward to getting him started again as there are four or five races pencilled in for him this year."

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