/ Racing

Leopardstown preview

Updated: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 16:29 | Comments

Racing gets under way at 5.50pm on Thursday
Racing gets under way at 5.50pm on Thursday

Certerach earns top billing at Leopardstown in a warm renewal of the Listed Challenge Stakes on Thursday evening.

Mick Halford's six-year-old reigned supreme in the Group Two Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan's winter carnival in March and looks the class horse in the race following an encouraging return to the track in the Curragh Cup last month.

The son of Halling does face tough opposition in the shape of Pale Mimosa, third behind subsequent Ascot Gold Cup hero Leading Light in the Vintage Crop at Navan in May, as Dermot Weld's representative boasts a course and distance win in the Saval Beg Stakes.

The Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Nasrullah' Handicap carries a winning prize of €60,000 and the relatively unexposed Magnolia Beach looks up to landing the spoils.

Ger Lyons' charge got within a head of the progressive Wexford Town, who runs in the aforementioned feature race on the card, when finishing second in the Ulster Derby at Down Royal last month and a mere 3lb rise in the weights might not be enough to halt his progress.

Action gets under way at 5.50pm with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden and Rule The Waves should appreciate the step back up to six furlongs for Aidan O'Brien.

O'Brien isn't represented in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden, but Halford could enjoy more success with Raydara, an eye-catching second on her Curragh debut last month.

Flight Risk is clearly held in high regard and is interesting in the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show Maiden, while stable companion Focas Mor remains off a workable mark in the kieranoconnellracing.com Anniversary Handicap.

Blackstone got his head in front for the first time at Killarney on Tuesday and is turned out immediately in the 'Stunning' Apprentice Handicap, but he won't get it all his own way shouldering top weight under a 5lb penalty and Sea's Aria could be interesting on his handicap bow.

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