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Crucial Game time for McConnell

John McConnell accepts Play The Game will have to improve from his debut win to remain unbeaten in the Coolmore Canford Cliffs Stakes at Tipperary on Friday evening.

The Lawman colt made an impressive winning debut at Leopardstown in June, overcoming signs of greenness to win going away.

"I'd hope he'd improve a good bit for his debut but he'll need to," said McConnell.

"He'll have to have improved plenty as there looks to be a few nice prospects from all the big yards.

"We're hop ing for some black type and we'll see how he gets on.

"We were obviously pleased he was able to win on his debut, we knew he was nice but didn't necessarily think he was sharp enough to win first time.

"You'd say he's got a middle-distance pedigree and he's next year's horse, really - however he does in this we won't over-race him.

"He'll want further in time and, while it's a long way down the line, he could be a type for a Derby trial, you never know."

Aidan O'Brien runs Port Douglas, who was no match for Jim Bolger's Sanus Per Aquam last time out.

Bolger relies upon Glamorous Approach, who won on her debut over course and distance in July.

Dermot Weld's newcomer Burma Star, the Ger Lyons-trained Waipu Cove and Charles O'Brien's Uninhibited complete the field.

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