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Patrick Prendergast's Leopardstown plan for Manalapan

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 14:41 | Comments

Leopardstown tomorrow evening features the Challenge Stakes
Leopardstown tomorrow evening features the Challenge Stakes

Patrick Prendergast is giving Manalapan a second try over a mile and three-quarters in the Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday.

The four-year-old did not disgrace himself over that distance at Meydan in February when he was seventh to Excellent Result.

Certerach, who was three lengths ahead of Manalapan in third place that day before going on to take the Dubai Gold Cup, is again in opposition.

Manalapan has a 4lb pull with Michael Halford's stayer, but just as important as that for Prendergast is that his horse settles better in order to last out the distance.

"It's his second attempt at a mile and six furlongs. The first time he attempted it was out in Meydan and Mick Halford's horse (Certerach) finished in front of him. He beat us three lengths so we have that to find, but we are 4lb better off with him," said the Co Kildare handler.

"He'll just have to relax a little bit more to get the mile and six, but if he does he should run well.

"If he would relax and get those sort of trips it would open a lot of new doors for him.

"He's a horse you can ride anywhere, he can make all, but it just depends if he can relax and not be tense in his races.

"Mick's horse finished behind Manalapan over a shorter trip at Dundalk one night, so if you take him as the one to beat it gives us a squeak."

Certerach's form when he defeated Godolphin standard bearer Cavalryman in the Dubai Gold Cup in late March was given a timely boost when the runner-up lifted the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket's July meeting.

The six-year-old returned from three months off the track with an encouraging effort when second to Ernest Hemingway in the Curragh Cup recently and is ready to return to the fray once more.

"He's been in good form since his run at the Curragh, so we're happy with him. The trip and ground should suit and we're hoping for a good run," said Halford.

"That was his first run since he came back from Meydan, so he will probably strip a bit fitter than he did at the Curragh and he's been in great form since then.

"His form is rock-solid as Cavalryman showed when winning at Newmarket last week, but I do have respect for Pale Mimosa. She's a good mare and has some very good form, but I'm very happy with Certerach."

Pale Mimosa, trained by Dermot Weld, was third to subsequent Ascot Gold Cup hero Leading Light in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in May on her seasonal debut.

Leading Light's trainer Aidan O'Brien relies on Eye Of The Storm, who was well beaten behind Telescope in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The list of seven runners is completed by Johnny Murtagh's Mutual Regard, Des McDonogh's Morga and the sole three-year-old, the Jim Bolger-trained Wexford Town.

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