Thursday 23 November 2017

Penitent tries to make up for sins with run at Leopardstown

Ashley Iveson

DAVID O'Meara's Penitent remains on course for a tilt at the Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown on August 16.

The former William Haggas inmate has enjoyed an excellent start for his new connections, winning the Doncaster Mile on his seasonal reappearance before landing the Group Two bet365 Mile at Sandown.

He was unable to land a blow in the Group One Prix d'Ispahan in France on his latest appearance, but O'Meara is hoping for a better result in Ireland to set up a potential run in the OLBG Park Stakes at Doncaster in September.

"Penitent is going to run in the Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown and then it's possible he could go on to the Park Stakes after that," said the trainer.

"He has had a little break after his run in France just to freshen him up.

"It was firm ground at Longchamp. We went over there for soft ground and we declared him on soft to heavy ground, but by the time we got there, it had dried out to fast ground which wasn't really his thing. Soft ground is crucial to him.

"We were very pleased with his progress before that and he is two from two for us in this country which is great. He surprised us a bit that he was able to win at Group Two level at Sandown."

Other leading entries for the Park Stakes include Group One winning miler Excelebration, who is one of nine possibles for Aidan O'Brien along with Europe's leading sprinter in 2010 Starspangledbanner, who is back in training after fertility problems at stud.

Richard Hannon's Harbour Watch also figures among the initial entries.

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