Tenor aiming to hit right note
Trainer Tim Doyle is keeping his fingers crossed Spanish Tenor can continue his progression in the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown on Sunday.
Billy Lee (right) takes the ride on Spanish Tenor
The Lope De Vega colt performed with plenty of promise when fifth on his Roscommon debut during the summer and having raised his game to fill the runner-up spot on his next start at the Curragh, it was no surprise to see him make it third time lucky at Cork last week.
He faces a big step up in class on his return to action just eight days later, but Doyle – best known for his handling of high-class chaser Mallowney – is hopeful his exciting youngster can prove up to the task.
"He came out of the race the other day well, he seems in good form and there's nothing else left for him, so we decided we'd take our chance," said the County Tipperary-based trainer.
"He's always worked like a good horse, but you never know until you run them. I wouldn't have many Flat horses, maybe 10 or 12, and he would be the best Flat horse I've trained.
"He's progressed with every run and was good the other day, so we'll see what he can do on Sunday. My only worry would be the ground. I wouldn't want it to dry out too much.
"If we can get a place we'll be delighted and we'll put him away then as he's a big, light horse.
"His pedigree and his frame would suggest he'll be a better horse next year."
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Territory made a good impression when winning on his debut at Naas last month and is set to have his final start for Ger Lyons after being sold to race aboard.
Lyons said: "He goes to the Killavullan and he's in new ownership. He's been sold to go to Hong Kong. I think he runs in my wife's colours at the minute and then goes to Hong Kong.
"He wouldn't want it very soft so if it did come up very soft he probably wouldn't go."
The only filly in the nine-strong field is the Dermot Weld-trained Making Light.
The daughter of Tamayuz bolted up on her second start at Limerick, but connections are hopeful rather than confident ahead of her latest assignment.
Fiona Craig, advisor to owner-breeder Moyglare Stud, said: "I'm not sure what to make of it really. I was surprised when I saw her priced up as favourite.
"She ran OK at Dundalk first time, but looked fairly limited, and then won really well at Limerick, which was a bit of a surprise.
"I think that was a very average race and this is an enormous step up, but we'll see what happens.
"I think the ground will be almost good by Sunday. What difference that will make to her, I don't know, but I think we'd probably be happier if it was soft to heavy.
"If she's not up to this grade, she'll probably be sold, so we might as well find out now rather than wait seven months."
Last week's Naas scorer Spirit Of Valor is one of three runners for Aidan O'Brien along with Taj Mahal and Pipes Of Peace.
Holistic Approach, who was making his debut when triumphing at the Curragh a fortnight ago, is also in field for Jim Bolger and Godolphin.
The John Oxx-trained Born To Be and John Murphy's Confrontational complete the line-up.
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