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Walker turns to Lynch as he seeks magic moment for Indian Blessing

Indian Blessing: rain not a big issue for her
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21.40 Keeneland
First Lady Stakes (Grade 1) | 1m | turf | 3yo+ fillies and mares | ATR

Fergal Lynch's biggest win came on a British raider in North America and Ed Walker is hoping the expat jockey can work his magic on Indian Blessing in one of six Grade 1 races in the US on Saturday night.

The consistent filly, who runs in the colours of Hong Kong owner PK Siu, finished third in a Grade 2 at Saratoga in August and the Lambourn trainer reckons the $400,000 event is a golden opportunity to strike at the highest level.

For the bid, Walker has booked Lynch, who successfully partnered David O'Meara's Woodbine Mile winner Mondialiste three years ago, and the trainer said: "Fergal's doing very well over there. Julien Leparoux, who rode her last time, couldn't ride and Fergal had a good weekend with a few stakes winners not so long ago and is going well. 

"He's a very talented rider. I think he'll suit her and he'll do a good job no doubt."

Fergal Lynch: won the Woodbine Mile on Mondialiste three years ago

Indian Blessing is one of two European runners in the race, along with the Alex Pantall-trained Crown Walk, second in the Prix Rothschild on her last appearance, representing France.

Walker, enjoying by far his best campaign, added: "This race has been in my mind for a long time. She had a bit of a delay getting out there, so we toyed with the Sun Chariot, but her flight got away on Monday and she's travelled great. She travelled well to Saratoga and has that experience under her belt.

"It doesn't look the strongest of Grade 1s and I think if she can improve on her run at Saratoga, which I think she well, she should be bang in the shake-up.

"They've also had quite a lot of rain, which will probably hinder others more than her – we're pretty excited."

Keeneland also hosts the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, a Grade 1 dirt race for juveniles, and the Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes, which O'Meara won with Suedois 12 months ago.

Breeders' Cup two-year-old clues could come in the Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, which stages the Grade 1 Beldame Stakes as well.

At Santa Anita, Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Roy H defends his title in the Sprint Championship Stakes, another top-flight contest.

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Julien Leparoux, who rode her last time, couldn't ride and Fergal had a good weekend with a few stakes winners not so long ago and is going well
E.W. Terms