Gordon Lord Byron the star on show in European Jockeys' Cup
The hugely popular veteran Irish sprinter and three-time Group 1 winner Gordon Lord Byron is the star equine attraction at the fourth European Jockeys' Cup to be held at Velka Chuchle in Prague in the Czech Republic on Saturday.
The Tom Hogan-trained ten-year-old, who two runs ago finished second in the Group 3 City of York Stakes, and who has won more than £1.8 million in prize-money in a glittering 90-race career dating back to 2010, will be ridden by Tadhg O'Shea in the 7f EJC Leram Million race worth more than €100,000 and due off at 3.30pm BST.
Gordon Lord Byron, who in 2016 was the subject of an award-winning documentary film, which recounted his remarkable rags-to-riches story, has a wide draw to overcome but connections are confident of a bold showing.
Hogan said: "He's in good form and has run quite well in his recent races. We're drawn 15 of 16 and we've got the German horse, Julio, on the outside of us.
"The going is forecast to be good to good to firm, which will be perfect for him, as is the trip, which is his best. His co-owner Dr Cyrus Poonawalla has business interests in the Czech Republic and he was anxious to run him there.
"It'll be the eighth different country he's run in after Ireland, England, France, the UAE, Qatar, Hong Kong and Australia, which is quite an achievement."
Hogan added: "Tadhg rides as his regular jockey Billy Lee is on a retainer with Willie McCreery and will be riding for him at Ayr. Tadhg has ridden him once before in Meydan so knows the horse."
The Million is the highlight of an eight-race card, sponsored by local companies Lokotrans and Leram, which will be the richest day's racing in the history of the Czech Republic.
Sixteen jockeys from 15 different countries will compete for the Cup's first prize with the UK represented by Brett Doyle.
"Every jockey will have a minimum of four, and a maximum of five, rides, with the top four finishes counting in the competition," explained retired British jockey Gary Hind, who is now based in the Czech Republic and is helping with publicity for the event.
"Although it's called the European Jockeys' Cup, it's a truly international occasion with riders coming not just from Europe but also Qatar, Panama and Kazakhstan.
"The Czechs have put a lot into it and the event gets bigger and better every year. It should be a great day and I know everyone is so happy to have a horse with as high a profile as Gordon Lord Byron coming over."
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