Saturday 1 October 2016

Belardo and Drama poised to tackle Gleneagles at Curragh

Published 07/05/2015 | 02:30

Andrea Atzeni was aboard Belardo for his Dewhurst win
Andrea Atzeni was aboard Belardo for his Dewhurst win

Endless Drama and Belardo are among those set to keep Saturday's Newmarket hero Gleneagles honest in the Irish 2,000 Guineas on May 23.

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The Roger Varian-trained Dewhurst winner Belardo had Sunday's French 2,000 Guineas as a possible destination, but he was among 10 scratched at the latest forfeit stage. Varian has confirmed that the Curragh's Tattersalls-sponsored €300,000 mile contest is now his target.

Andrea Atzeni was aboard Belardo for his Dewhurst win. He has since replaced Jamie Spencer as Qatar Racing's first jockey and rode Ger Lyons' impressive Naas maiden winner Endless Drama in both of his outings this term.

Endless Drama led at the two-furlong pole on each occasion, only to get swamped by Zawraq in the Guineas trial at Leopardstown and then be collared by another Dermot Weld colt when the Pat Smullen-ridden Tombelaine nailed him at the Curragh on Monday.

"The first two pulled clear," Lyons said of Endless Drama's latest defeat. "I wanted to be like Pat and come last to challenge. The only negative is that he didn't win. If Gleneagles turns up (in the Guineas), we might as well all stay at home, but I'm going to give him one shot at it."

The only Irish entries left in Sunday's Longchamp Classic reside in Ballydoyle, namely Highland Reel, War Envoy, Dick Whittington and Royal Navy Ship.

Meanwhile, Timmy Murphy's switch to the Flat has been postponed until Saturday evening at Thirsk.

The Grand National-winning rider hasn't ridden since January 2014 following complications with a dislocated shoulder, and he was denied the opportunity to embark on the next chapter in his career yesterday when racing was abandoned after two races at Brighton due to high winds.

Murphy has been booked to ride Uncle Brit at the Yorkshire track on Saturday for local handler Rebecca Menzies.

Irish Independent

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