Lightly raced Zawraq out to make up for lost time in testing conditions
Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Stakes (Listed) | 3yo and up | 1m1f | TG4/ATR
Zawraq, who has raced only three times in three seasons, makes a belated but welcome reappearance in this Listed contest, in which he faces nine rivals headed by Galway festival winner Riven Light.
A Listed winner on heavy ground at Leopardstown as a juvenile, the Dermot Weld-trained five-year-old has not raced since October.
Weld said: "Zawraq has been a long time off. He's ready to roll and he's a good horse. He's won on testing ground and I'm expecting him to run very well."
Riven Light, winner of the Colm Quinn BMW Mile at Galway in July, and again successful at Tipperary on his most recent start, represents Willie Mullins, who said: "He's in great form and we think he'll handle the testing ground."
Bengala, the only three-year-old in the line-up, drops in grade having finished in rear in the Irish Oaks in July.
Her trainer John Oxx said: "She's in good form and is getting weight from the others.
"We know she goes in soft conditions but we'll have to see how effective she'll be on very heavy. If she handles the ground she should be competitive."
Ground conditions are not a concern for Patrick Prendergast, trainer of Canary Row, a winner at this level on his most recent start at Killarney last month.
"He's running because we know he handles testing ground," said Prendergast. "He has a bit to find with a few of his rivals but we're hoping for the best and we think the trip might suit him at this stage of his career."
A two-time winner from seven starts in Ireland, the Brian Ellison-trained Dream Walker is a dual Galway festival winner and finished third in this event a year ago.
Ellison said: "He ran well in the race last year so we thought we'd have another try.
"He loves soft ground, which is probably part of the reason he does so well in Ireland. He's gone over in good form and hopefully he'll be able to get in the first three again."