Smullen harbours Harzand hope

Pat Smullen is hoping his dual Derby hero Harzand can make another speedy recovery in time to tackle the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

Harzand 'has a great constitution and healing powers'

The Dermot Weld-trained colt was struck into in a red-hot renewal of the Irish Champion Stakes on Saturday, putting a question mark over his participation at Chantilly on October 2.

However, Harzand has already shown once this season that he is a quick healer as he recovered from a spread plate on the morning of the Investec Derby to win the race and still managed to return in time for the Irish Derby three weeks later.

"He got knocked around and struck into behind, he was very sore and lame after the race," Smullen told At The Races.

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"I must say that was a bit of a relief in that there was an excuse as to why he ran so poorly, but that said, he didn't run that badly and wasn't beaten that far – it was just unfortunate.

"Hopefully he'll recover in time for the Arc and there's no question that when he returns to a mile and a half we'll see a better horse again. I've lost no confidence in him at all.

"It was an extremely good race, probably one of the best races I've ever ridden in, the pace we went the whole way, we kept quickening all the way.

"With the mishap as well, there were some positives to take from it, but we'll put that behind us, move forward and I still think he's a horse who could run a huge race in an Arc.

"He's quite sore, the next couple of days will tell and he'll need to recover quickly to get back in his training regime, but when I saw how sore he was after Epsom, I didn't think he'd be running in an Irish Derby so he has a great constitution and healing powers."

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