Talented older horse Trais Fluors is set to be joined by a trio of exciting juveniles as trainer Ken Condon prepares a strong team for Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
While the coronavirus pandemic has forced the popular two-day meeting event to take place behind closed doors this year, there is still some top-class racing to look forward to, both at Leopardstown on September 12 and at the Curragh the following afternoon.
Condon said: “Irish Champions Weekend seems to fall at the right time of the season, and you have a convergence of different form lines from the UK and France and elsewhere.
“I know all the people involved have worked hard at attracting these runners to make it a truly international meeting – it’s a meeting we’re very much looking forward to.
“It’s Irish Champions Weekend – that’s where you want to be represented and that’s where you want to have runners.”
Condon’s big hope on day one is Trais Fluors, who is set to contest the Group Two Clipper Logistics Boomerang Mile.
Formerly trained in France by Andre Fabre, the six-year-old has been running well in defeat this season and is set to sport some headgear for the first time at Leopardstown.
“His rating is on the slide a little bit. He’s running fine, but we just think he has more to give,” said Condon.
“He’ll run in the Boomerang, I’d hope – and quick ground, which you normally get at Leopardstown that weekend, should help.
“We’ll probably use a visor as well for the first time. He worked in it this morning, and I just think he needs a little bit of help.”
Condon confirmed Kasperenko a likely runner in Leopardstown’s Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Petingo” Handicap at Leopardstown, while both Could Be King and Ice Cold In Alex are in contention for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Sovereign Path’ Handicap.
The latter was beaten just half a length into third in the same race last season, and his trainer is hoping for another bold showing – providing he makes the cut.
Condon said: “We’re all very fond of Ice Cold In Alex. He wears his heart on his sleeve and always gives his best, and I suppose he’s a victim of his own consistency.
“He’s in rare form and looks a picture. If he gets in, he just needs top of the ground to be seen at his best – he never lets you down.”
Condon is set to be represented in both juvenile Group Ones at the Curragh on Sunday, with Laws of Indices in line for the National Stakes and both Teresa Mendoza and Thunder Beauty set to contest the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Laws Of Indices won the Group Two Railway Stakes on his penultimate start, before finishing fourth behind Railway runner-up Lucky Vega when stepped up to the highest level in the Phoenix.
Condon said: “He missed the break in the Phoenix, but he actually ran a very good race – Billy (Lee) was adamant he’d have been second if he’d jumped normally and got towed into the race better.
“I liked the way he finished out – his last furlong was very good. He showed how genuine he is and hit the line very strongly – I think the extra furlong is going to be in his favour.”
Curragh maiden winner Teresa Mendoza was narrowly beaten by outsider New Treasure in the Group Three Round Tower Stakes on her latest outing – while Thunder Beauty looked a high-class prospect in winning her only start to date, also at the Curragh.
“Teresa Mendoza was very impressive the first time at the Curragh,” said Condon.
“She ran the other day as a short-priced favourite, and the ground was particularly testing, and maybe she ended up upsides in front sooner than you’d like.
“To her credit, she battled away well, and I think back on more reasonable ground over seven furlongs in the Moyglare could be fine. She’s a very promising, talented filly – and I think we’ll see an improved performance the next day. We like her a lot.
“Thunder Beauty was also quite impressive. She wouldn’t be as precocious as Teresa Mendoza, and she may be a little bit raw on Sunday week – with it being only her second ever start. But we took the view we needed to space her races out, and hopefully she’ll run a nice race.
“She’s a filly with a lot of potential.”
Condon’s confirmed mud-lover Schroders Mistake may contest the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Bold Lad’ Sprint Handicap at the Curragh, while Colfer Me is viewed as a lively potential outsider in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF ‘Northfields’ Handicap.