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Thursday, 18 October, 2018

No rest for evergreen Gordon Lord Byron as he bids for 17th success

Tom Hogan with Gordon Lord Byron, who will be having his 92nd start at Naas on Sunday
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No rest for the wicked, or the wonderful. Eight days after finishing fifth in a Listed race in the Czech Republic, the evergreen Gordon Lord Byron is back on home soil to try and add win number 17 to his CV on his 92nd start in the Group 3 Renaissance Stakes (4.00) at Naas.

Tom Hogan admitted that he would have liked a little more time to prepare his stable star for today's test but stressed it was an opportunity too good to turn down.

Hogan said: "I would obviously have liked another few days but this opportunity popped up and it was very hard to turn down. We still picked up some prize-money last week but the ground was very loose and he couldn't pick up in the straight having travelled well. I would like to think that he would be hard to beat if he could repeat his York run against Expert Eye."

One of the threats to the fairytale is Unfortunately, last year's Prix Morny winner who has yet to fire as a three-year-old. 

Unbeaten Falcon looking to soar to new heights

Dermot Weld rarely goes a season without a top stayer in his stable and the baton is handed over to Falcon Eight who puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Group 3 Loughbrown Stakes (2.55). 

The Curragh maiden winner confirmed the promise of that success with an explosive performance over 1m3f at Killarney last month. Now he steps up to stakes class and Weld feels it will tell him where he stands with the exciting son of Galileo.

Weld said: "Falcon Eight has won both his starts nicely but this is a big step up for him. With regard to the trip, it is obviously a shot in the dark and we cannot be sure that he will definitely stay but we will find out and it will tell us where we stand."

Aidan O'Brien is triple-handed as he tries to win the race for the first time since Eye Of The Storm emerged victorious in 2013. 

"Cypress Creek is in good form at home and I think he has come forward since the Irish St Leger. He has had a good season. Victory Salute is back from a break and I would imagine he will come forward for this run. Zabriskie should run better than he did in the Leger," O'Brien said. 

Harrington confident Trethias can show true worth

Jessica Harrington had the top three-year-old filly this season and she will be hoping Trethias can develop into a Classic contender next year too, but first the daughter of Invincible Spirit has to show us what she is made of in the Group 3 Weld Park Stakes (2.20) where the trainer is also represented by Servalan.

"I thought Trethias was very unlucky at Leopardstown and hopefully she can get some compensation. She is a lovely filly who we like a lot. She is identically-rated to Servalan and I would imagine it was a tricky choice for Colm [O'Donoghue] as Servalan would definitely have a chance if she bounces back to her early-season form. 

Aidan O'Brien, whose most recent success in the race was with Coolmore in 2015, relies upon Hermosa. 

O'Brien said: "Hermosa is progressing all the time and I was very pleased with her run last time. She goes to Naas in very good form."

Mick Channon is represented in the seven furlong race for fillies' by Chynna, who could only finish seventh in a Listed race at Doncaster last time.

Channon said: "We're pleased that she looks like she will get her ground. It was a bit soft for her last time up at Doncaster. We're pleased with her, we're very hopeful so we've got to have a go."

Chynna is not the only British representation, as the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Brassica also makes the journey to Naas in a race her trainer has won twice with Alborada (1997) and Last Second (1995).

Assistant trainer William Butler said: "She has always shown plenty of speed, hence we ran her over five on her debut at Lingfield, where she was very green.

"She's always shown plenty in her work and it's a race that Sir Mark has had some luck in down the years, while Brassica was impressive at Beverley. The front two pulled well clear and, having looked under pressure three out, she very quickly came back on the bridle and beat a horse of Sir Michael Stoute's that I believe was well-regarded. We feel she is well up to taking her chance in this company."


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I would obviously have liked another few days but this opportunity popped up and it was very hard to turn down
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