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Leading Derby fancy The Pentagon steps up in Tyros Stakes

The Pentagon: streaked clear of his Curragh rivals
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The Pentagon, who shot to the head of the Investec Derby market after a spectacular maiden success at the Curragh 12 days ago, bids to enhance his Classic claims in the Group 3 JRA Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown this evening.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt shares favouritism for the Epsom Classic with Gustav Klimt – both are best-priced 16-1 – but an impressive success in this, a race his trainer has won for the past three years and ten times in all, would see him pull clear of his stablemate in the Derby betting.

O'Brien, who also saddles Berkeley Square, said yesterday: "The Pentagon showed good improvement from his first run to win very nicely at the Curragh. We haven't done a lot with him since and he is stepping up in grade, but he seems in good form and we're happy with him.

"Berkeley Square has improved with each run and won nicely at Tipperary last time. We think he has come forward again and we're hoping for a good run."

The Pentagon, who trounced his rivals by eight and a half lengths at the Curragh when ridden by Ana O'Brien, is now partnered by Ryan Moore and is due to face five opponents.

Aidan O'Brien's Tyros Stakes winners

Year | Horse | SP
1995 Common Spirit 7-4F
1997 King Of Kings 2-9F
1999 Royal Kingdom 8-11F
2002 Van Nistelrooy 4-6F
2008 Rip Van Winkle 11-8
2009 Cape Blanco 1-2F
2010 Zoffany 1-7F
2014 Gleneagles 4-7F
2015 Deauville 9-2
2016 Churchill 2-5F

2,000 Guineas winner Churchill won the Tyros Stakes last year
Jim Bolger's nine winners of the race include the top-class pair Teofilo and New Approach and he is represented by Theobald, a son of the former. 

Successful over a mile on his debut at the course last month, Theobald was then dropped back in trip for the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes at the Curragh, where he finished second to Actress. 

Would Be King is the only maiden in the line-up but the Ger Lyons-trained colt has been placed behind smart performers on all three of his starts, namely Beckford, Brother Bear and Gustav Klimt.

The Patrick Prendergast-trained Red Persian, successful over the course and distance on his third start last month, and Sheila Lavery's Burgundy Boy, a winner over the trip at Roscommon earlier this month, complete the field.

Ballydoyle battalion

Maiden winners Happily, a sister to Group 1 winners Gleneagles and Marvellous, and Easter Lily represent Ballydoyle in the seven furlong Group 3 Jockey Club Of Turkey Silver Flash Stakes (6.55).

"Happily came on well from her first run to win well at the Curragh. Donnacha rode her and liked her a lot.

Happily beats Shalailah at the Curragh

"Easter Lily, too, came forward from her debut to win over the course and distance two weeks ago. We're happy with both of them," O'Brien said.

Runner-up on her first two starts before winning over six furlongs at the Curragh, Dawn Delivers, who represents Bolger, will be going the distance for the first time. So too will the Johnny Murtagh-trained Golden Spell, a winner over five and six furlongs.

Shalailah, representing Lyons, finished second to Happily at the Curragh last time, while Dermot Weld said of newcomer Betsey Trotter: "She's a nice filly but I'm expecting her to improve a lot for the run."

He showed good improvement from his first run to win well at the Curragh. He is up in grade, but he seems in good form and we're happy with him
E.W. Terms