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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Ming could prove a valuable contender for the O'Brien dynasty in Diamond Stakes

Ming and Billy Lee winning at Navan in July
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7.30 Dundalk
Recruit Island Diamond Stakes (Group 3) | 3yo+| 1m2½f | ATR

After competing at Grade 1 level in the US, Ming steps back to Group 3 company on Dundalk's Polytrack for the Joseph and Donnacha O'Brien alliance in Friday's six-runner event.

Sixth in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington last month, three-time winner Ming scored at Dundalk over this distance on debut in June and his trainer said: "Ming ran very well in the Secretariat and wasn't beaten far, although he didn't get the smoothest of runs.

"He's in great shape and we're looking forward to a good run."

The race has been won three times by British stables since it moved to Dundalk in 2008 and the Ed Dunlop-trained Global Giant and Hugo Palmer's three-time all-weather winner Mootasadir will bid to become the first British-trained winner since Cat O'Mountain scored for Charlie Appleby in 2014.

Global Giant (starred cap) winning at Newmarket last year

Palmer said of Mootasadir: "It was quite nerve-wracking because we supplemented him while Aidan [O'Brien] still had Rhododendron and Capri entered, but I think it's fair to say that the race has cut up.

"It's going to require a step up, but we think he can win. He needs to keep improving to do so. He's potentially a Dubai carnival horse and what he likes and needs is a really level track."

Aidan O'Brien, whose winners of the event include subsequent Group 1 scorers Mastercraftsman and Declaration Of War, is represented by Ballet Shoes as the trainer chases a third consecutive win in the race.

He said: "She was coming back from a long break when she ran at Galway ten days ago and she got tired in the bad ground. The better ground and the trip should suit her."

Kalaxana and Massif Central represent Michael Halford who said: "The ground was a bit too quick for Kalaxana at Leopardstown last time. She's in good form and showed last season that she handles the surface well. Massif Central handles the surface too and while he's been struggling a bit and looks to have it all to do, we're letting him take his chance."

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Ming ran very well in the Secretariat and wasn't beaten far, although he didn't get the smoothest of runs
E.W. Terms
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