“A big welcome to what is a first preview on the site for a few weeks. As of late I’ve been focusing on mainly Group 1 action for the main site preview, however, to get back into the swing of things I’m taking a look at a decent Group 3 event at Leopardstown, which comes in the form of the Desmond Stakes.
I’ll also have some punts up on the site for the rest of the card.” – Jordan
The Desmond Stakes is a Group 3 event that’s contested over a distance of a mile and this year’s race is headed by the Jessica Harrington trained Ancient Spirit, who’s to be ridden by Shane Foley. Trading at the top of the market at a general 7/4, the Invincible Spirit offspring is enjoying a productive season so far, winning two of three outings. Last seen finishing second behind the progressive Patrick Sarsfield in the Group 3 Meld Stakes here in July, he won back to back Listed races before that and is the in-form horse of the race.
Next up in the betting at around 3/1 is Make Believe colt Fiscal Rules who represents the partnership of Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning. He’s the only maiden in the race having not managed to get his head in front in his three starts to date, however, his last two outings have come in the Irish 2000 Guineas an the Irish Derby, where he finished fifth on both occasions. Dermot Weld sends Etneya to take her place in the line-up here, she’s only had the one start to date which came in a maiden at the Curragh back in July where she went on to win impressively by over three lengths. Oisin Orr is set to take the ride and currently she can be found trading at a best price of 4/1.
Irish Lincolnshire winner Bowerman is an 8/1 chance here for Adrian McGuinness and Ronan Whelan, he’ll be looking to bounce back from a disappointing effort last time when finishing seventh in a Listed race where he was one of the market principals. Trais Flours was a pattern race winner for Andre Fabre in France but hasn’t managed to find his form yet for new trainer Ken Condon. He was last seen finishing seventh in the Group 3 Meld Stakes and finds himself a 9/1 chance here under Billy Lee. Aidan O’Brien is represented by Royal Dornoch who’s the mount of Seamie Heffernan, he’s a colt by Gleneages who’s yet to fire this term having been well beaten in both the English Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes. They were both hot Group 1’s though and he’s significantly down in Grade, he beat Kameko in the Group 2 Royal Lodge last season. Nebo is the outsider of the pack and concludes the field.
Ancient Spirit sets a pretty solid standard here and is probably the right favourite, I am going to take him on though with a horse I’ve back twice already this season and that’s FISCAL RULES for Jim Bolger. Granted, he’s had three runs and not manged to win any of them, but on those three occasions he’s finished behind Wichita, Siskin and Santiago, which is a Guineas runner-up, Guineas winner and Derby winner. The fact that his top connections were willing to pitch him into a classic after just one start, where he finished runner-up, says to me that they think a lot of this horse and he by no means disgraced himself with those efforts in the classics. I think he could well run a big one here back down into Group 3 company.