Master Of Reality bids to prove his surprise recent victory at Navan was no fluke in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown on Friday.
Having been gelded during the off-season, the son of Frankel was a largely unconsidered 33-1 shot for the Group Three Vintage Crop Stakes little under three weeks ago, but knuckled down admirably to prevail in the hands of Wayne Lordan.
The four-year-old must shoulder a penalty for his latest assignment and trainer Joseph O’Brien is keeping his fingers crossed his charge can prove up to the task.
He said: “He’s in good shape and obviously we were delighted with him the last day.
“He’d been working well before Navan. It was a surprise to see him go and win, but we thought he’d run well.
“We’ve been happy with him since and although he has a penalty to carry, hopefully he’ll run well again.”
Back in fifth when the red-hot favourite for the Vintage Crop was Aidan O’Brien’s dual Classic hero Capri.
The five-year-old won the Irish Derby and the St Leger in 2017 and was fifth in last season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
He has a shade over six lengths to make up on Master Of Reality – but is 6lb better off for the rematch and is expected to strip fitter for the run.
“We were happy with how he ran at Navan and he will have come on for that run, so we’re looking forward to the Saval Beg,” said O’Brien
Pallasator won the Queen Alexandra Stakes last season for Gordon Elliott and the Cullentra handler is hoping Saval Beg – his first competitive outing since last July – will set him up for a return to Royal Ascot.
“He’s in good shape, and I’m happy with how he has been going at home,” said Elliott.
“The plan is to get back to Ascot with him, and I’m keen to get a run into him, so Friday’s race looks ideal.”
Jim Bolger’s Twilight Payment, the Dermot Weld-trained Falcon Eight and big outsider Kingsriver Diamond complete the field.