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Weld's Rock could perish on Cougar Mountain


Trainer Dermot Weld

Trainer Dermot Weld


Trainer Dermot Weld

Dermot Weld sends four runners to Leopardstown today as he strives to continue his sensational start to the season.

The Curragh wizard's maidens Gulf Of Poets and Valac are both interesting under the similarly unstoppable Pat Smullen.

Valac, in particular, is one to monitor in the market for the 10-furlong colts' maiden, as he is a Dark Angel half-brother to the Rosewell House stable's deeply exciting Free Eagle.

The early-evening card's most valuable event is the €45,000 Listed Heritage Stakes over a mile, a race in which Weld and Smullen have a fine record.

They are represented here by Fascinating Rock, a horse that showed smart early form last year to complete a hat-trick in the Derrinstown Stud Derby trial.

Eighth at Epsom before flopping in the Irish equivalent, Fascinating Rock may be the one to be on. However, the drop back to a mile is a concern, as he hasn't run over the trip since getting beaten on his track bow two years ago. Cougar Mountain, which is going in the other direction on the back of a promising sprint campaign as a three-year-old last year, appeals as an alternative.

Aidan O'Brien's son of Fastnet Rock ran promisingly in the July Cup and the Nunthorpe, his only prior outing having come in the Naas maiden that he won in June.

While Cougar Mountain didn't build on those runs in the Sprint Cup at Haydock, he has the scope to do really well this term, so a chance is taken on him carrying Joseph O'Brien to victory.

The day's nap vote is One Cool Princess on Limerick's renowned student day spread.

Ruby Walsh's sole booking aboard Charles Byrnes' Crystal Pearl in the mares' maiden hurdle is significant, but it is the John Joe Walsh-trained One Cool Princess that catches the eye in the mares' handicap. Having beaten Friday's decisive Wexford winner Cairde Aris at Cork, the Brian O'Connell-ridden selection boasts solid form.

Irish Independent