Convergence to foil his Lyons stablemate in Ballycorus
Ger Lyons fires two darts at Leopardstown's Ballycorus Stakes, and the second string Convergence is fancied to outshine Capella Sansevero.
Having been bought by Qatar Racing for £1.3m at the Goffs London sale 24 hours before finishing second in last year's Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Group One placed Capella Sansevero was tipped to be a leading three-year-old this term.
He might still be, but he has failed to make an impact in the 2,000 Guineas and its German equivalent, with trouble in running a mitigating factor both times. Dropping to Group Three company now, the 110-rated colt has a chance of getting back to winning ways for Colin Keane.
Still, he has something to prove for now, and his 3lb lower rated rival Convergence has ticks in a lot of the right boxes, not least that each of his three career triumphs have come over this seven-furlong trip.
The son of Cape Cross broke his maiden over this course and distance 12 months ago before being denied less than a length here by the brilliant Gleneagles in the Tyros Stakes. He then scooted up in a Listed Tipperary contest, after which his momentum stalled a little.
This season, though, Convergence beat War Envoy in another decent Listed race at Dundalk, before emerging with real credit when seventh in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, held by just over five lengths by Gleneagles.
He raced right on the pace all the way in the mile Classic, so there was no shame in his tiring at the death against such high-quality opposition. With that in mind, Convergence must be a serious player now that he reverts to his optimum distance for this €60,000 affair.
Indeed, he appeals as nap material to give Lyons a third win in the race under Gary Carroll.
Of the other five runners, Dermot Weld's returning four-year-old Tested is the one to fear.
Khalid Abdullah's Selkirk filly has a mark of 109 after stretching clear at Tipperary last August to score for a fourth time in six starts. She is a fine prospect, but this will be tough on her reappearance, not least because she must concede 9lb to the selection.
Lyons and Keane get the nod to start proceedings on the right foot with Mint Chai in the juvenile maiden, with first-time blinkers applied in the quest to top three previous runner-up finishes.
They could also go close with the top-weighted Cape Wolfe in the mile handicap, but preferred in that is Johnny Murtagh's Hunt, which is also owned by Qatar Racing.
This is a decent contest that also features the hat-trick-seeking Indian Tomahawk. In contrast, Hunt has won just one of his five career starts. That was over seven furlongs at Dundalk in April, and he got to within half a length of Success Days over the trip at Gowran Park last year.
In a slow-run race over six at Fairyhouse last time, he couldn't get to the two that dictated the pace up front, but he was closest at the finish in being denied less than a length in third.
Hunt tries a mile for a first time now, so he might prove a formidable opponent under Niall McCullagh off a fair mark of 85.