Kyprios bids to continue his resurgence with victory in the Saval Beg Levmoss Stakes at Leopardstown on Friday.
The Galileo colt looked a potential Derby contender last spring, but he could only finish fourth in the Lingfield Derby Trial and subsequently suffered injury prior to the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge proved 11 months off the track has done him no harm when defeating full-sister Search For A Song in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan three weeks ago and he will be a hot favourite to follow up at Group Three level.
O’Brien said: “We are looking forward to Kyprios in the Saval Beg. He delighted us by winning the Vintage Crop nicely in Navan in what was a strong field for a Listed race and he has been good since.
“He’s a brave horse. He won his maiden first time out as a two-year-old on very bad ground in Galway and then won first time out last year in Cork. But then he came out under the stalls at Ascot and picked up an injury so he didn’t run again until Navan, where he clearly enjoyed the step up in trip.
“We have always thought he’d be nice and while he is four, he still has very low mileage, having only run five times.
“He also had an entry in the Yorkshire Cup on Friday, but we like the Saval Beg for him and we’re looking forward to seeing him progress at this level.”
Kyprios – who is as short as 5-1 for the Ascot Gold Cup – is set to face four rivals, with Andrew Slattery declaring both Sunchart and Pineapple Express.
Sunchart was beaten 11 lengths when sixth behind Kyprios in the Vintage Crop, while Pineapple Express made a promising start to her campaign when third in last month’s Noblesse Stakes at Cork.
Slattery said: “Pineapple Express ran a lovely race first time out. You could expect her to come on for that normally, but especially as she was in season so to get that important black type was brilliant.
“These are the type of races we have mapped out for her for the year because she’s rated 95 now so her handicapping days are over. And she showed in Cork, she is not out of place in these kinds of races.
“She is stepping up two furlongs but I don’t think that will be a problem. In fact I think that she might be better for that too. We’ll know a lot more after Friday.
“Sunchart ran really well when just touched off a head by Wordsworth in Gowran Park and I probably ran him back too quick in the Vintage Crop at Navan, because he just wasn’t fully fit to start the season off and had a hard race.
“He’s in good form now though. He has a couple of other options too and we’ll firm up the plans for him with the owner in the coming days.”
Jim Bolger’s Agitare and the Ger Lyons-trained Phoenix Cowboy are the other hopefuls.
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