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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Evergreen Lord Byron out to show age is just a number

Tom Hogan: "Gordon will tell me when he wants to retire and he hasn’t said anything yet!"
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7.20 Leopardstown
Oliver Brady Memorial Shabra Charity Ballycorus Stakes (Group 3) | 7f | ATR

His globetrotting days may well be behind him at this stage of his career, but Gordon Lord Byron showed that he still has the taste for success when winning his 16th race at the Curragh last month and Tom Hogan has set 20 wins as the latest target for his remarkable nine-year-old.

Indeed, Gordon Lord Byron has had the last rights read on his career many times before, but his latest victory proved that the ink on his epitaph is still wet.

In a race named in memory of another racing legend, Oliver Brady, Gordon Lord Byron will be hoping to further justify Hogan’s faith by recording career win number 17 in this Group 3.

Brits abroad

The Richard Fahey-trained Don’t Touch will be tackling 7f for the first time while the British-trained challenge is completed by David O’Meara’s Firmanent.

Funk primed to strike

Ger Lyons has always held Psychedelic Funk in the highest regard and the Sean Jones-owned colt hinted that a return to the winner's enclosure would not be far away when chasing home Caravaggio in a Group 3 at Naas last month.

Poor race for favourite-backers

Only one favourite has managed to win this race throughout the past 11 renewals.

What they say

Tom Hogan, trainer of Gordon Lord Byron
We said after his win at the Curragh that we'd be aiming to get 20 victories out of him and I think that's definitely achievable, but we need to get win number 17 here first. We were quietly confident he was coming back to himself before his win at the Curragh last month but we were slightly worried about the ground going soft as he needs traction to be at his best. He got through it well on the day and he's come out of the race in brilliant form. Look, he's nine years of age but he gets physio twice a week and no stone is left unturned with him. He’s in great form and we think he'll run well but it'll be tough giving weight away.

Richard Fahey, trainer of Don't Touch
We've always been pretty keen to try him over 7f and this race was the only suitable starting point really. He is in good form but it's a bit of a fact-finding mission. We will see how this goes before we make any plans with him but we are hopeful he can run well.

David O'Meara, trainer of Firmanent
The quicker the ground the better his chance will be. He's versatile enough with regards the trip and 7f will be fine for him. He's in good form.

Sheila Lavery, trainer of Sevenleft
He ran well the last day but I'm not quite sure he stayed the mile which is why we are bringing him back in trip. It will be a tough ask taking on Gordon Lord Byron but I think it's worth taking a chance.

He’s in great form and we think he will run well but it will be tough giving weight away
E.W. Terms
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