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  • 16:15 EMS Copiers Lacken Stakes 6f

  • (Group 3) €65,001 added 3yo 7 ran
  • Winner €38,350 2nd €12,351 3rd €5,850 4th €2,600
  • Going: Good to Yielding
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 1m 12.33s
  • Off time: 16:15:58

Caravaggio returns at Naas with Royal Ascot prep

Last Updated: 20/05/17 12:31pm

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Jessica Harrington: Trainer of Alpha Centauri.

Jessica Harrington: Trainer of Alpha Centauri.

Potential sprint star Caravaggio makes his eagerly-awaited return to action in the EMS Copiers Lacken Stakes at Naas on Sunday.

The one-time leading 2000 Guineas contender will be having his first outing since a scintillating win in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last August.

Connections have shelved plans to tackle a mile with the Aidan O'Brien-trained son of Scat Daddy, and the Group Three contest is set to be the starting point ahead of a sprint campaign that could see him return to Royal Ascot for the Commonwealth Cup, having won the Coventry Stakes in his juvenile year.

O'Brien said: "He seems to be in good form and he's just ready to start off. He obviously hasn't run this year yet, but he seems to be in good form."

Jessica Harrington admits it may be "a big ask" for Khukri when he tackles Caravaggio.

The Sepoy colt made a good impression on his return to action this year when landing the Coolmore Stud Power Stakes at Navan last month.

Harrington was herself slightly surprised by that Listed victory, but has high hopes of the three-year-old making into a smart sprinter this term.

She expects improvement from her charge now, but feels O'Brien's charge may be a tough nut to crack.

"He did it well at Navan and he'll probably come on from that as it was his first run of the year," said Harrington. "Taking on Caravaggio, I'd say, is a big ask."

Mister Trader looks another fascinating runner returning to action in the six-furlong affair.

Darren Bunyan's runner, who chased Caravaggio home in the Marble Hill Stakes last season, has not been seen since a disappointing effort in the Windsor Castle Stakes at the Royal meeting, for which he was a strong fancy.

Psychedelic Funk, a smart performer last season, failed to show much on his return this term at Navan and connections will be hoping for a better effort from the son of Choisir.

Exciting filly Alpha Centauri is reported in fine form ahead of her second career outing in the Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes on the same card.

The Jessica Harrington-trained juvenile made a big impression on her debut at the track at the start of the month when scoring in style.

The powerful daughter of Mastercraftsman is reported to have progressed from her first run as she steps up into Listed company now.

"She's good and I'm delighted with her," said Harrington. "She seems to have come on well. She came out of the race well and seems to be in good form. I'm hoping for a big run from her."

Actress, who chased home Alpha Centauri over course and distance last time, reopposes in the six-furlong contest.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained filly subsequently landed a cosy victory at the Curragh last weekend and was suggested as a Royal Ascot contender after that win.

She has two and a half lengths to find on her debut run and O'Brien said: "She's been fine since the Curragh. Obviously she ran last week, but she seems to be in good form."

O'Brien also saddles a leading contender in the preceding Coolmore War Command Rochestown Stakes in the shape of Dali.

The son of Scat Daddy is another on trial for Royal Ascot in the five-furlong contest.

He stepped forward nicely from his debut to score at the track last month and his trainer expected plenty of improvement from that run.

O'Brien said: "He's in good form. He won at Naas the last day. It was a few weeks ago and he seems to be in good form since."

Dali also gets the chance to avenge his debut defeat as Dundalk winner True Blue Moon lines up in the Listed contest.

There was only half a length between the pair first time up on the all-weather and it could be tight again between the Ballydoyle runner and Joseph O'Brien's charge.

Dual winner Sirici looks another strong contender in a competitive event. Fozzy Stack's filly has progressed with each of her runs at Dundalk and has shown plenty of pace.

Simmy's Copshop is an interesting raider from the Richard Fahey yard, while Mamba Noire and T For Tango are other once-raced winners.

The third Listed contest on the card appears at the mercy of another O'Brien inmate, Whitecliffsofdover.

The War Front colt looks a class act in the seven-furlong contest after a commanding display on his return to action in the Free Handicap at Newmarket.

Having been placed in Group One company on Arc day last season, Whitecliffsofdover could be capable of making his mark at a higher level than this.

O'Brien said: "He's in good form since Newmarket. Hopefully the ground will stay nice and good for him."

The five-year-old Marshall Jennings is rated next best on official ratings but is still 11lb lower than the Ballydoyle colt.

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