Sunday 21 January 2018

Boy bouncing for Desmond date

David Marnane. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile
David Marnane. Photo: Matt Browne / Sportsfile

David Marnane believes Victoria Cup winner Dandy Boy is still improving as he tackles the Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday.

The four-year-old was sent off favourite for the Royal Hunt Cup but his backers knew their fate early as he was drawn on the wrong side that day.

He has since finished third in a Group Three at the Curragh, but Marnane believes he may have needed the run on that occasion.

"In the Royal Hunt Cup we knew our fate early and Colm (O'Donoghue) looked after him so he didn't really have a run," said Marnane.

"His previous run before that was way back on May 8 when he won the Victoria Cup so I think he might have needed the run last time.

"That's a long time for a big horse like him and he has progressed since then. I was delighted with him at the Curragh but I just felt he needed the run slightly. He still finished third in a Group Three, though.

"We think he's training better now so we are hoping for a nice run.

"It's tough at the ratings but he's still a lightly-raced improver and I just hope the ground is not too quick.

"I don't think he needs cut in the ground, he just wants nice ground.

"Tomorrow will tell us where we are going to go with him."

The likely favourite is Aidan O'Brien's Beethoven, winner of the Dewhurst last season and fourth in the Sussex Stakes.

Emulous will bid to give Dermot Weld his third successive win in the race following Carribean Sunset and Famous Name, while Jim Bolger's Akdarena faces a drop in class having contested three Group Ones on the spin.

The Tracey Collins-trained King Jock completes the five-runner field.

Press Association

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