Hazapour shines in Amethyst Stakes to set up Group One return

Queen Anne Stakes a possible target

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Hazapour gave Dermot Weld an eighth Comer Group International Amethyst Stakes triumph with an authoritative display in the Group Three contest at Leopardstown.

Weld’s second string Zuenoon was rushed to the front after Dunkirk Harbour had broke smartly to lead briefly.

Oisin Orr moved Hazapour into third place and soon was in a strong position before setting sail for home early in the straight.

Verbal Dexterity pressed hard, but could not match Hazapour (2-1 favourite), who crossed the line two and a half lengths to the good, to back up his victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial on this card 12 months ago.

He was supplying Weld with a quick double following Baladiya’s win in the opening six-furlong maiden.

“That’s his right trip. He did it well and got a nice ride from Oisin,” said Weld.

“I was pretty confident that he’d win and he did what we thought he’d do. It’s upwards and forwards.

“I just wanted to see him at Group level today over a mile and if everything goes well we’ll move on now for a Group Two or Group One for him. That will be next.”

He added: “We’re very pleased with the way he performed. We have no definite plans, it’s possible he could go to Royal Ascot for the Queen Anne.

“I thought he would progress from the first run (behind Magical in the Alleged Stakes) and I think he’ll progress again from today.”

Hazapour was cut to 16-1 from 50-1 for the Queen Anne with Paddy Power.

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