One Cool Poet – one of the success stories of the Irish Flat season – steps up to Listed class for the first time in the Trigo Stakes at Leopardstown on Saturday.
Trained by Matthew Smith, the seven-year-old has been the epitome of a late developer. A maiden in nine outings over hurdles, he was racing on the Flat off a mark of 62 in July.
A winner three times at his beloved Galway, while he disappointed on the first day of Irish Champions Weekend at Leopardstown, he turned out a day later at the Curragh and returned to winning ways from a handicap rating of 90.
Put up 10lb by the assessor, he has earned a crack at Listed level.
“I think we’ve put the plans to send him chasing on hold for now!” said Smith.
“I just wish the ground was a bit better, but it is what it is.
“We’ve had an amazing year with him, we can’t believe how well it has gone, and he still seems in great form.
“Listed races can tend to be run differently to the big handicaps, but it’s a big enough field (10) so hopefully they go a good pace as that is what he needs.
“I think the 10 furlongs there will suit him and we’ve got our fingers crossed he can pull it off again, but he owes us nothing.”
Aidan O’Brien’s Mount Everest, Willie Mullins’ Riven Light and Dermot Weld’s Rakan are among his major dangers.
There is Group Three action earlier on the card, featuring the Killavullan Stakes.
Five go to post for the seven-furlong contest, with O’Brien represented by Royal Lodge Stakes third Iberia, while Weld saddles once-raced Curragh maiden winner Katiba and Jim Bolger runs Geometrical, who was third in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.
Camachita (Johnny Murtagh) and Stela Star (Tom Mullins) complete the field.