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Friday, 14 December, 2018

O'Brien three-handed as Sound bids to follow up last year's success

War Decree: one of three Aidan O'Brien runners
1 of 1

8.00 Dundalk Diamond Stakes | Gr3 | 3yo+ | 1m2½f | ATR

Long Island Sound, winner of this event a year ago, returns from a 188-day absence in a bid to follow up and is one of three runners for Aidan O'Brien, who is also represented by War Decree and De Coronado.

Twice successful over the course, Long Island Sound, the mount of Wayne Lordan, has raced only once this year when finishing 12th of 13 in a Group 1 event at Meydan in March, while the Donnacha O'Brien-ridden War Decree, winner of the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood last season, has not raced since finishing fifth in the Prix du Jockey Club in June.

De Coronado, a brother to American champion Zenyatta, has recorded his two career wins at this course including a conditions event under today's rider Seamie Heffernan a week ago.

British raiders

Pat Smullen partners the Sir Michael Stoute-trained three-time Listed winner Abingdon, who finished last of six in the Yorkshire Oaks on her most recent start. She is dropping down to 1m2½f for the first time this year.

Archie Watson is represented by Absolute Blast, a Listed winner at Kempton in April. He's also been twice placed at this level, in Germany and Turkey, in recent months.

Favourites race

Market leaders have an excellent record in the race, winning six of the last eight runnings. The biggest-priced winner returned at odds of 7-1.

What they say 

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of De Coronado, Long Island Sound and War Decree
War Decree and Long Island Sound have been off a long time having had little setbacks – none of them major. They're in good form and ready to start back. De Coronado has shown that he likes Dundalk and is in good form for this step up in class.

Angus Gold, racing manager to Hamdan Al Maktoum, owner of Aneen
She's had a lot of niggling hold-ups and then we waited for decent ground, so it's been a frustrating run with a decent filly. I hope she can run well as she'll be retired at the end of the year. I've no doubt the ability is there, but whether we're going to see it now is another matter.

War Decree and Long Island Sound had little setbacks - none of them major. They're in good form and just ready to start back

Key data

A P O'Brien
E.W. Terms
Sky bet