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Memphis Tennessee -Chester 11.05.2012

Memphis Tennessee (left) winning the Ormonde Stakes last year

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (  

Returning pair set for Ormonde Stakes battle

MEMPHIS TENNESSEE bids to become the third horse in the last 20 years to gain back-to-back wins in the Boodles Diamond Ormonde Stakes but stood between him and another win in the Group3 contest is one of Marwan Koukash's Chester battalion.

Mount Athos, fourth in the Chester Cup two years ago, won his first three races when switched to Luca Cumani last year, including the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury.

He then went on to Australia where he was a fast-finishing fifth in the Melbourne Cup before ending his season when out of the frame in the Japan Cup in November.

Today will be his first start since with a trip to Melbourne again on the agenda. Cumani said: "He was very unlucky in the Melbourne Cup as he was out of position in a slowly run race and was bumped twice when he was making his run.

"That's his long-term target once again, but he's in good form for his reappearance. I'm just hoping there's not too much rain, as he likes fast ground."

Memphis Tennessee looked capable of going on to better things after winning this race last year, but he made only one more appearance when finishing last in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot.

His trainer Aidan O'Brien said: "He's been off a long time and is just ready to start back. He won this race a year ago and we're hoping for a good run."

The final day of Chester's May meeting takes centre stage on a busy Friday - there are seven meetings in Britain and a further two in Ireland.

Ascot: Good to firm, good in places

Chester: Good to soft

Hamilton: Good to soft

Lingfield: Good, good to firm in places on the turf, and standard on the all-weather

Market Rasen: Good, good to firm in places

Nottingham: Good to firm

Ripon: Good

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