Yucatan on retrieval mission in International Stakes after Royal Ascot flop
Finlay Volvo International Stakes (Group 3) | 1m2f | 3yo+ | ATR
The International Stakes has proved a happy hunting ground for Aidan O'Brien and Dermot Weld, with the prolific pair accounting for nine of the last 10 winners of the mile and a quarter Group 3.
However, with the latter handler absent among the six declarations, the master of Ballydoyle looks to boast strong claims of making it a seventh success in the race as he saddles Yucatan, ridden by Ryan Moore, and Clear Skies, who will be partnered by Donnacha O'Brien.
Yucatan proved bitterly disappointing when finishing last in the Wolferton Stakes field at Royal Ascot 12 days ago, and blinkers are now applied in a bid to spark the one-time Classic hope.
The JP McManus-owned Clear Skies, who enjoyed a fruitful spell on the all-weather over the winter before switching to pattern turf contests, made good headway when switched to the inner in the Duke Of Edinburgh at the Berkshire venue last week before flattening into 10th close to home over 1m4f.
O'Brien said: "Yucatan will love the ground and track – we're hopeful he'll run well. He's lazy so the blinkers will help."
He added of Clear Skies: "She's in good form and should cruise through the race, she loves it when there's a strong pace on in front of her.
"Possibly 1m2f on good ground is what she's looking for. She ran well at Ascot but didn't get the clearest of runs. Ryan [Moore] was happy with her though."
Jim Bolger is represented by 2016 Irish Derby third Stellar Mass, who hasn't run since last August at Leopardstown when third in the Ballyroan Stakes which he won the previous year.
Joseph O'Brien's Reckless Gold wasn't disgraced despite being beaten nine lengths in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last time out, while the admirable Tennessee Wildcat will bid for his first success in just over a year.
He was behind Allegio at Leopardstown in the Listed Glencairn Stakes on his previous start, with Raymond Treacy's five-year-old finishing a gallant second in the Celebration Stakes on Saturday's card.
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