Duntle out to dazzle in Amethyst Stakes
Updated: Saturday, 11 May 2013 10:10
Duntle makes her eagerly-awaited comeback in the Amethyst Stakes tomorrow at Leopardstown.
The David Wachman-trained filly returns to the scene of her controversial last run when she was demoted to second place after passing the post a short head in front of Chachamaidee in the Group One Matron Stakes last September.
It was a frustrating end to what had been a highly-successful campaign for the daughter of Danehill Dancer.
Duntle may have finished only fourth in the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Trial on this card 12 months ago but she put that defeat behind her to win the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot and the Group Three Desmond Stakes back over this course and distance.
"She's in good form and ready to start off. She wants good ground, so we don't want much more rain," said Wachman.
"We will have to see, this is just the starting point."
Duntle is opposed by just four rivals that include Custom Cut and Bold Thady Quill.
Custom Cut has to give 3lb to the field because of his Group Three success in the Gladness Stakes at the Curragh five weeks ago.
Trainer George Kent said: "He came out his last race in great order. He's in great form and I couldn't be happier with him.
"The programme is better for him later on in the year. The mile is not a problem. Carrying a 3lb penalty is not ideal.
"There are Group One horses in the field, but he's a horse that thrives on racing."
Bold Thady Quill was beaten a length and a quarter in fourth place by Custom Cut off level weights at the Curragh and was runner-up to the Aidan O'Brien-trained Declaration Of War over this course and distance a week later.
The six-year-old's trainer Ken Condon has been delighted with the progress he has made so far in 2013 that has seen his rating soar to 103 from 91.
"He's had a very good start to the season and had a busy initial few weeks, but he's been keeping his form extremely well and, if anything, has kept improving week to week," said the Curragh handler.
"He's had a nice break and freshened up. His weight is good and we're very happy with him.
"Obviously Duntle is the highest-rated horse in the field and is entitled to be favourite and then there's Sweet Lightning, who maybe didn't run to form the last time.
"We're hopeful our horse will run a good race and I think he will."