Ante-post favourite Patrick Sarsfield is one of 38 remaining contenders for the Paddy Power Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh on Saturday.
After running with credit in defeat on his first three starts, the Joseph O’Brien-trained four-year-old opened his account at the fourth attempt in impressive style over the Irish Lincolnshire course and distance last October.
The race sponsors make Patrick Sarsfield the 9-2 market leader for this weekend’s 100,000 euro feature at the home of Irish Flat racing – and connections are looking forward to the challenge.
Bill Dwan, racing manager for Patrick Sarsfield’s owner Chantal Regalado-Gonzalez, said: “The Irish Lincolnshire is the plan. We were delighted to see racing continuing in Ireland under very strict conditions, but racing going ahead is a good distraction in a difficult time for everyone.
“It has been the plan to run him in the Lincolnshire for quite a while and hopefully he progresses to stakes company later in the year.
“It’s a tough race and it’s his first run (of the year), so fingers crossed he runs well.”
Patrick Sarsfield is one of two possible runners for O’Brien along with Memyselfandmoi, while father Aidan looks set to rely on top-weight Lancaster House.
The Galileo colt rattled off a hat-trick of wins between early August and early September of last year before finishing a disappointing seventh when favourite for the Group Two Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown.
Other hopefuls following Tuesday’s confirmation stage include Dermot Weld’s pair of Bashiyr and Lighting Amber, the Jessica Harrington-trained Njord and Getaway Katie Mai from John Queally’s yard.