The Desmond Stakes (7.30, Thursday) is a Group-3 Race run over a mile at Leopardstown, and open to horses aged 3 and older. It is named after the Champion Sire Desmond, and has been run at Leopardstown since 2002, except when it was run at The Curragh in 2009.
Those renewals have been won by eight 3-year-olds, two 4-year-olds, and three 5-year-olds, though the last 3 renewals have been won by horse aged 4 or 5. Aidan O’Brien has trained 3 of those winners.
There are 8 runners set to go to post for the 2016 Desmond Stakes.
This 7-year-old’s career highlight came when winning this year’s all-weather championship, and he’s usually better on the all-weather. Was last of 7 behind Decorated Knight over 9-furlongs here last time, and he’ll probably need several horse to underperform to win here.
Five-year-old who won last year’s contest and, though mainly disappointing since, his best run this year also came over course and distance. He’ll also like the forecast decent ground, and should go close in a bid to defend his title.
The 2014 winner is Group-2 class at best but, at the age of 7, he seems to be in slight decline. His stable are in the best form they’ve been in all season, but the ground may also be a little on the fast side for him.
Don’t Bother Me
The six-year-old won a handicap over 7-furlongs here earlier in the season off 88, but then failed to fire when targeted at a big handicap at Ascot. Likely to find this company much too hot, and the ground a little too fast.
Another 6-year-old, but this one hasn’t won since February 2014. Did finish a place in front of Captain Joy when sixth behind Decorated Knight, but no reason to think he’ll find the necessary improvement.
Another who ran behind Decorated Knight here, finishing fourth, but still looks outclassed, and could be a pace angle for the higher-rated O’Brien horses.
Hit It A Bomb
Had only won a couple of minor races before winning the Breeders Cup Juvenile on his third start, and that earned him top-rating here. Could be absolutely anything, but he wouldn’t be the first War Front colt to impress as a 2-year-old, and flop as a 3-year-old. Examples of which are Air Force Blue and War Command.
Was improving last time we saw him in October, but this is a tough ask on his seasonal debut as he has a stone to find with the principals
Desmond Stakes Summary
Aidan O’Brien poses a question for punters with 3 runners, but General Macarthur looks the least likely winner of the trio. Meanwhile, Hit It A Bomb could be anything but, with doubts over him, Cougar Mountain may offer more value in a bid to defend last year’s crown.