What the trainers are saying ahead of the Renaissance Stakes
Last Updated: 22/08/14 11:57am
View from connections ahead of Saturday's Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh.
Gordon Lord Byron returns to action in Ireland for the first time since August last year as he headlines the Renaissance Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.
The six-year-old has been a dream horse for Tom Hogan, with his globetrotting exploits seeing him notch Group One successes in Australia, Britain and France.
Most recently the gelding was eighth to compatriot Slade Power in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Hogan: "He came back with a back injury after Ascot so we've given him a bit of time and he seems to be back on song. It's all about getting a run into him before Haydock (Sprint Cup on September 6, which he won in 2013).
"We did a similar thing with him last year when he went to Leopardstown and won a Group Three. Hopefully he'll run well, but you would expect him to improve off it."
Another Group One-winning Irish sprinter is in opposition as Evanna McCutcheon runs confirmed soft-ground lover Maarek, whose finest hour came in last season's Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp.
The seven-year-old was beaten as the even-money favourite upon his return to action at the Curragh earlier in the month, although his trainer had warned he would need the outing having not been seen since the Curragh in May.
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McCutcheon said: "We wouldn't run him on ground that is any way firm but as long as they're making a good print in it, we'll let him take his chance.
"He needed the run badly the last day and those small fields don't really suit him. The more trouble he gets into the better. He seems in good form and while we're taking it one race at a time, Haydock would be in the back of our minds if all goes well."
The Tracey Collins-trained Majestic Queen has progressed from handicaps to make her mark at Group Three level.
Collins said: "She's in good form and she's been competitive all year, but obviously this looks a very strong race and it's another step up for her.
"I'd say six or seven furlongs is fine for her. A mile probably stretches her a bit. She's done very well through the summer and has strengthened up a lot, so we'll see how we go. She has entry in the Matron Stakes and in the Sprint Cup at Haydock, but we'll take it one race at a time."
Jamesie rarely runs a bad race in and around Listed class and Group Threes but is without a win since striking in Dubai back in January.
Trainer David Marnane said: "Jamesie is in great nick and ran a good race there the last day.
"He came home well on ground that was plenty soft enough for him. Hopefully conditions will be more in his favour this weekend and he seems to like the Curragh. The stiff six (furlongs) there suits him well. It's a tough race, but hopefully he'll give a good account of himself."