Harzand is ‘better than ever’

Dermot Weld says Harzand "probably looks better than ever" as the dual Derby hero gears up for a return to the track next month.

Harzand is on course for the Irish Champion

The Aga Khan-owned colt is in training for the Qipco Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown on September 10, after which he will be primed for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly.

Weld told the Telegraph: "I've had Harzand back in for a couple of weeks and he probably looks better than ever.

"The present plan is that he's likely to run at Leopardstown in the Irish Champion Stakes and then the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe."

Stablemate Fascinating Rock, who has not been seen since winning the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh in May, could join Harzand in the Leopardstown Group One.

The County Kildare trainer added: "He's in the Juddmonte (at York next week) but isn't quite there.

"He can run in the Irish Champion as well."

Weld seems unlikely to have any ammunition at the big Ebor festival on the Knavesmire as Darley Yorkshire Oaks entry Zhukova will not travel to England.

The handler said: "She's just not going to be ready in time, but is one to look forward to in the autumn."

Read More at Sporting Life

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