Weld's Rite of Passage earmarked for Leopardstown
RITE Of Passage is in line to make his eagerly-awaited return to action in the Seamus & Rosemary McGrath Memorial Saval Beg Stakes at Leopardstown on Friday evening.
Dermot Weld's stayer has only run twice since winning the Ascot Gold Cup in 2010, including when beaten in this race in 2011.
However, he returned from another lengthy absence to win the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot last October and a return to the Royal meeting could be the aim again.
Aidan O'Brien has four entries, headed by Imperial Monarch, while John Oxx is aiming to use the race as a stepping stone to Ascot for Saddler's Rock.
Missunited and Steps To Freedom are also engaged.
There are two entries from Britain with David Lanigan's Biographer and Mark Johnston's Oriental Fox both in the field.
Also on the card is the King George V Cup, formerly run as the Nijinsky Stakes.
Patrick Prendergast's Sugar Boy, winner of the Sandown Classic Trial, and John Oxx's highly-regarded Zand are interesting entries at this stage.
Freewheel, Resolute Response, Safe Home and Salhooda are others to catch the eye among an entry of 20.