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Meeznah in fine shape for oaks

David Lanigan's star Meeznah remains on course for the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh later this month.

The daughter of Dynaformer graduated from an impressive Newmarket maiden win to finish second in the Oaks at Epsom, and Lanigan is looking forward to seeing her have another crack at Classic glory on July 18.

"She seems in great form and did two very easy pieces of work last Wednesday and last Saturday," said Lanigan.

"That was just to stretch her legs and she'll do a similar thing this Saturday on the Watered Gallop.

"We'll start to step her up a bit after that, but she seems really well and it's just a case of getting her to the race now."

Meanwhile, Ralph Beckett's unbeaten two-year-old Lord Of The Stars is in contention for next Thursday's TNT July Stakes at Newmarket.

It will be a return to the scene of his only start so far when he defeated The Paddyman last month. The runner-up went on to an impressive victory at Yarmouth on Thursday.

Beckett is also considering the EBF Conditions Stakes on the same afternoon and said: "I will sit down and look at both races to see what the entries are like, then we will make a plan for Lord Of The Stars.

"He is a very straightforward horse, and the second hosing up at Yarmouth yesterday makes the form, all of a sudden, look pretty good.

"Whether it turns out to be as good as it appears is another thing entirely, but he is OK and the plan is to run next week in one of those races."

Others entered for the July Stakes include the William Haggas-trained Norfolk Stakes hero Approve and narrow Coventry Stakes runner-up Elzaam, from the Michael Jarvis stable.

Beckett could also saddle the lightly raced Desert Sage in the Bahrain Trophy.

She followed a debut second with fourth place in the Swettenham Stud Fillies' Trial Stakes at Newbury and broke her duck at Chepstow last time.

Beckett added: "Desert Sage has various options. The form of her race has worked out well, with the third winning at Newbury last night.

"Her participation would depend on the opposition and how we felt about the ground next week.

"She has the option of the Listed Plantation Stud Stakes at Newmarket in a fortnight's time against her own sex and there is also a fillies' Listed race in France in the meantime to consider.

"It would depend on how we feel about her next week, but she is in good nick and I hope she will prove to be progressive."

Junior will head to Goodwood later this month as the hardy stayer strives to supplement his Royal Ascot triumph.

David Pipe's seven-year-old ran amok in the two-and-a-half-mile Ascot Stakes, after which he was in contention to line up in the Northumberland Plate.

Connections resisted the temptation to run at Newcastle, however, and will instead look forward to an outing on the Sussex Downs.

Tim Palin, racing manager for owners Middleham Park Racing, said: "It took a little while for him to get over Ascot.

"We really ummed and ahhed about running in the Northumberland Plate as he'd been put up 8lb by the handicapper and that was his last chance to run under a 5lb penalty instead.

"We decided to give it a miss, though, and he will go for the two-mile-five-furlong Goodwood Stakes at Glorious Goodwood now.

"Long term, the target is the Cesarewitch, but if he were to win at Goodwood, he might just start handicapping himself out of these races."

Captain Dunne and Victoire De Lyphar could fly the flag of Middleham Park Racing in the Bluesquare.com Stewards' Cup at Goodwood.

Trained respectively by Tim Easterby and Dandy Nicholls, the two sprinters are contenders for the big handicap on July 31 -- although Victoire De Lyphar is not yet guaranteed a run.

Captain Dunne puts his credentials on the line in the bet365.com Conditions Stakes at Haydock on Saturday, while Nicholls' hat-trick-chasing gelding could run at Newmarket next week.

Palin added: "The Stewards' Cup is where we would like to go with Victoire De Lyphar, but he's currently rated 97 and there is a 5lb weight- for-age allowance in that race so he's down to 92.

"We've entered him for a race at Newmarket next week and what he really needs for the Stewards' Cup is a penalty, so it would be the ideal scenario if he were to win.

"However, if we decide to bypass Newmarket next week, we will just have to wait and see."


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