Declan McDonogh is hopeful Masaff can end his season on a high by claiming victory in thetote.com Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.
The Dermot Weld-trained two-year-old created a big impression when making a winning debut at the Foxrock venue in June and returned to finish third behind the exciting Madhmoon in the Group Two Champions Juvenile Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend.
The son of Raven’s Pass steps up to nine furlongs for this weekend’s Group Three assignment and his rider is expecting a big run.
“I think it’s a nice race for him,” said McDonogh.
“This will probably be his last run of the season, he’s a nice colt and I’m looking forward to riding him.”
Masaff features in a nine-strong field.
Jim Bolger claimed this prize in three consecutive years between 2014 and 2016 and has another major contender in Guaranteed, who turns out just a week after finishing second in the Killavullan Stakes. The Coolcullen handler also runs Oiche Re Gealai.
Aidan O’Brien struck gold 12 months ago with subsequent Irish St Leger hero Flag Of Honour and this year relies on Sovereign, who was last seen finishing fourth in the Beresford Stakes behind stablemate Japan.
Joseph O’Brien’s trio of Cosmic Horizon, Millswyn and Elleanthus and the Ger Lyons-trained pair of Kestrel Prince and Zander complete the line-up.
Listed honours are up for grabs in thetote.com Knockaire Stakes over seven furlongs.
Weld’s Imaging, the Lyons-trained Psychedelic Funk and Bolger’s course and distance winner Flight Risk are among the likely contenders.
Denise Foster’s filly looks to have her work cut out on ratings, but the Meath-based trainer is hoping for an improved performance.
She said: “This will be Julia’s Magic’s last race of the season and she seems in very good form this week.
“She was in season for her last run at Navan and that certainly wasn’t her true running so we are hoping that the real Julia’s Magic will turn up at Leopardstown.
“We are unsure about the step up in trip, but when Gary Carroll gets off her he always says that the closing stages of the race is always her past part so we are hoping she will stay seven furlongs.
“It looks a hot race but she is in good form and has won on good to firm ground before.”
There is a total prize fund of 50,000 euro up for grabs in the Tote October Handicap.
Perfect Tapatino bids to complete a hat-trick for Joseph O’Brien following recent wins at Naas and at this venue, while Tony Martin’s Share The Honour bids to follow up a win at the Galway Festival.
Causey Arch is another major player for Willie Mullins.