Weld's Famous Name has class to make it lucky 13
Dermot Weld can continue the countdown to his annual obliteration of next week's Galway Festival by saddling the brilliantly consistent Famous Name to a second successive triumph in the Meld Stakes at Leopardstown this evening.
When scoring at odds-on 12 months ago, Famous Name cruised home from a substandard field in the Group Three Jockey Club of Turkey-sponsored event. He faces a much higher calibre opposition tonight, but should still record a 13th triumph in pattern company.
As was the case in 2010, the Dansili five-year-old's sole defeat this term has come when he fell short of the required standard in a Group One behind So You Think at The Curragh.
Famous Name subsequently reaffirmed his status as uber-dependable in this grade when destroying Jan Vermeer, which reopposes now, on Derby weekend.
He should collect again for Pat Smullen, though it will be interesting to see how the three-year-olds Creekside and Dunboyne Express fare.
While Creekside is stepping into Group company soon enough, Dunboyne Express ran respectably in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Derby, and the intermediate nine-furlong trip could suit.
In the card's other Group Three, the Korean Racing Authority Tyros Stakes, Tenth Star is fancied to deliver Aidan O'Brien a fourth win in a row. Rip Van Winkle, Cape Blanco and Zoffany have been classy winners of this seven-furlong two-year-old contest for the Ballydoyle handler since 2008.
Beaten on his first two starts, Tenth Star may not be as prolific, but he was impressive when he got off the mark over course and distance at the end of June. Jim Bolger, who sent out the previous three winners of the Tyros, including New Approach and Teofilo, relies on Parish Hall, a son of the latter, this time.
Having accounted for Raphael Santi and the smart Requinto on his debut at Cork in April, Parish Hall is clearly talented. On his first run since, it would be no surprise to see him push the selection hard.
Bolger and O'Brien are represented respectively by Star Power and Long Live The King in the Dublin Horse Show Handicap. Both horses have a chance, as do recent winners Cloudgazer and Hawk Flight, but preferred is Kastania.
John Oxx's improving filly could be thrown in here off 8st 4lb now that she tackles an extra two furlongs, having landed a maiden when stepped up to a mile and a half at Limerick last month.
There is also a jumps card at that Munster venue this evening. Glibin, placed in four bumpers before sluicing up at Downpatrick last week, is the most attractive option on the seven-race programme in the mares' maiden hurdle.
Noosa, Ennisnag, The Grey Express and Milano Bay also bring useful form into this, but Colin Bowe's point-to-point winner should improve again for hurdles.
In the preceding maiden, Dessie Hughes may have found a good opportunity for Half Full. Third to Eighty-barackstreet at Clonmel in June, Bryan Cooper's mount will be better for stepping up to two and a half miles here.