Thursday 19 April 2018

Duke sings praises of Warm The Voice

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Ashley Iveson

Brendan Duke believes Warm The Voice can win the Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at Naas this afternoon.

The Dublin-born handler spent two decades assisting training great Jim Bolger and after a year with Charlie Mann, he went it alone in 2001, first in Lambourn before returning to his homeland six years ago.

It is an association that has stood the test of time, with Bolger and his wife Jackie sending several horses to Duke's Curragh stables in the last few years.

The likeable trainer feels he has a potential superstar on his hands in Warm The Voice. "The first horse Jim and Jackie sent me was a horse called Focussed in 2013. We managed to win a nursery in Galway with him and another nursery in Sligo," said Duke. "I managed to call it right with him and things have picked up from there, but this horse is definitely the best we've had so far.

"The Beresford Stakes is a race woven into the tapestry of Irish racing. Some absolute champions have won it and I feel very honoured to have a horse good enough to grace the race. Make no mistake, this horse is good enough."

Warm The Voice, a son of the Bolger-trained Vocalised, was third on his racecourse debut at Leopardstown in late July and has since completed a hat-trick at Galway, the Curragh and Listowel.

Aidan O'Brien has saddled a staggering 16 previous winners of the one-mile Group Two, including the last six. This year's Ballydoyle team is headed by the Saxon Warrior, which made a huge impression on his Curragh debut.

"Saxon Warrior won nicely at the Curragh last month and Donnacha (O'Brien) was very happy with him that day," said O'Brien.

"The Beresford Stakes always looked a natural race for him, although he hasn't run on this type of ground, so we'll find out more about him on Sunday."

O'Brien also runs Kew Gardens and Delano Roosevelt, which were second and third respectively behind stablemate Nelson in a Group Three at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend a fortnight ago.

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