Dermot Weld is ready to saddle Masaff in the TheTote.com Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.
The son of Raven’s Pass made a winning racecourse debut at the Foxrock venue in June, and returned to finish a creditable third behind the exciting Madhmoon in last month’s KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes.
Weld has also entered Zuenoon for this weekend’s Group Three feature, but Masaff is his preferred runner at this stage.
Weld, who enjoyed a treble at Leopardstown’s penultimate Flat fixture of the year, said: “Zuenoon and Masaff have both been entered for Saturday, and Masaff is probably the more likely to run.
“He ran a lovely race in the Group Two on Irish Champions Weekend, and this looked a logical race to aim towards with him.”
Weld’s pair are among 21 entries for the Eyrefield Stakes.
Aidan O’Brien has a typically strong hand, with his team featuring last month’s Royal Lodge runner-up Sydney Opera House and the Group Three-placed Circus Maximus.
Earlier on the card, the Listed Knockaire Stakes has attracted 24 entries – headed by last year’s winner Making Light and her Tetrarch Stakes-winning stablemate Imaging.
Curragh trainer Willie McCreery has three contenders, headed by the classy Downforce – who won at Listed level earlier in the season as well as finishing second in the Group Three Gladness Stakes.
“He’s in good shape, and I’m looking forward to running him along with Excelling Spirit and True To Herself on Saturday,” said McCreery.
“I’d expect Downforce to improve from his run at Navan earlier in the month, and he’s run well in this race before (third in 2016), so I hope he’ll give a good account of himself.
“The plan is to run on Saturday and finish him off for the season in a Listed race at Doncaster two weeks later.”
In the 50,000 euro Tote October Handicap, Willie Mullins is strongly represented – with his quartet headed by Exchange Rate. He was just touched off in a premier handicap at Killarney in August and comes here off a creditable fifth in the Irish Cesarewitch.