Past winner Minds bidding to make it a great comeback
Cork Stakes | Listed | 6f | ATR
This is a hotly competitive opening contest and cases can be made for many of the runners, most of whom have form on softer going.
The Fozzy Stack-trained Great Minds won this race in 2015 but has not been seen on the racecourse for over a year and wears the first-time cheekpieces.
Ger Lyons gives Gymkhana the green light just a week after the colt made a successful Irish debut over this trip at Naas, while British raider Giant Spark is another contender who has the benefit of a pipe-opener.
Tough for market leaders
Just two favourites have won this race since 2008.
What they say
Willie McCreery, trainer of Downforce and Heroic Heart
Downforce will definitely like the ground and he's in good form so we're hopeful of a nice run. Heroic Heart was scanned in foal to Sea The Stars last week so this looks like a good race for her before she embarks on a career as a broodmare.
Paul Midgley, trainer of Giant Spark
He'll love the ground – the deeper the better. He's got to step forward on what he showed last year, but if he's good enough he'll be there or thereabouts. We'll see how good he is. We needed a prep last time because he's such a big horse and Newcastle wasn't ideal for him, but it was a good place to get a race into him.Everything is in his favour and there will be no excuses. He went to Navan last year and travelled over really good – he's pretty straightforward that way. He's on the upward spiral and if he could pick up some black type it'd be great for the family.
Fozzy Stack, trainer of Great Minds
He won the race two years ago and has had a while off the track but he's in good form. He'll like the ground but whether he's as good as he once was, we don't know.
Martin Hassett, trainer of Master Speaker
He's our star. I think he's due a win because he had a few unlucky runs last season. Ryan Moore and Colm O'Donoghue know him well and they know you can't force him to do anything. He likes to come from off the pace and on a going day he's very good. He won't mind the ground and he goes well fresh, so we're very hopeful.