/ Racing

Curragh preview

Updated: Friday, 22 Aug 2014 16:49 | Comments

Gordon Lord Byron returns to competitive action at the Curragh
Gordon Lord Byron returns to competitive action at the Curragh

Gordon Lord Byron returns to competitive action in the Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.

Tom Hogan's globetrotting stable star hasn't been seen since injuring himself in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, and is using this as a springboard to defend his Haydock Sprint Cup crown next month.

Heading the opposition is fellow Group One winner Maarek, although conditions underfoot will be plenty quick enough for him.

Russian Soul can never be ruled out of races of this quality, while little separated Jamesie and Hamza in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes, when they were ahead of Maarek.

Rather than take up his Gimcrack engagement, Aidan O'Brien has decided to keep The Great War closer to home for the Irish Field Curragh Stakes.

Despite apparently having his limitations exposed in the Norfolk Stakes and July Stakes, he will still provide a stern test of the credentials of Ger Lyons' impressive Naas scorer Ainippe.

O'Brien should already be on the board by that time, as long as there isn't anything of star quality lurking among the newcomers that take on General Marshall in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.

The Ballydoyle handler has three in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden (2pm), headed by Together Forever, who was an encouraging fourth on her introduction at the Galway Festival.

Miller Beach turns out just three days after his Killarney success and bids for a hat-trick in the Fleetwood Paints Apprentice Handicap.

Shalaman struck at the same meeting and has a 5lb penalty to contend with in the Irish Champions Weekend 13th & 14th September Handicap, in which last-start winners Breathe Easy and Sea The Lion take him on.

No Dominion made it second-time lucky for Andy Oliver at this venue earlier in the month but will do well successfully to concede weight all round in the Gay And Kathleen Byrne Celebrating 50 Years Of Marriage Handicap.

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