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Last Updated: 07/03/13 11:39am
Gordon Lord Byron: Runs at Dundalk
Gordon Lord Byron faces just three rivals in the BWG Foodservice Race at Dundalk on Friday as he warms up for a trip to Dubai.
The five-year-old more than held his own in top company towards the end of last term, capping his year when winning the Group One Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in October.
A subsequent trip to Far East yielded a fourth place when stepped up in trip for the Hong Kong Mile but he is back at six furlongs at Dundalk, where the Aidan O'Brien-trained Starspangledbanner is a notable absentee.
Tom Hogan's charge will be giving weight to each of his rivals, but the County Tipperary trainer is eager to get his horse back in competitive action.
He said: "He needs a run to just sharpen him up. I would have preferred a more competitive race but we just need to get him back in a race situation. It's nice to get him to Dundalk. He's run four times there before, winning twice and being placed twice, and he seems to like that surface.
"He's heavier than he was at the back-end of last year and he probably just needs a bit more work than we can give him at home. He's got to give weight away to them all, but he's a big enough horse to carry it and that's the conditions of the race."
Hogan has already set his sights on the six-furlong Golden Shaheen at Meydan on March 30, but expects his charge to mix and match his distances over the coming campaign.
He said: "If all goes well, we will go for the Golden Shaheen later this month. We will probably keep him to stiff sprints or easy miles this year. His ideal trip is probably seven furlongs, but he's a very adaptable horse and it depends on how the races are run.
"He's a lovely horse to have and, touch-wood, he stays fit and well for us."
Clancy Avenue leads the opposition to Gordon Lord Byron, although Hogan's charge has 29lb in hand of that one on the official ratings. The Ger Lyons-trained Burn The Boats and Michael Mulvany's Battleroftheboyne complete the line-up.