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Halford hoping Ash proves too hot

Michael Halford is hoping his decision to sidestep Royal Ascot with Invincible Ash pays off in the Ballyogan Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday.

The six-year-old mare returns to action for the first time since running at Meydan in March, where she wound-up her five-race programme with a creditable fourth to J J The Jet Plane in the Group Two Al Quoz Sprint.

She makes her reappearance in this Group Three contest over six furlongs against her own sex rather than take on the best sprinters next week in either the King's Stand Stakes or the Golden Jubilee.

"I'm happy with her and she's got a good draw (one), so we're expecting a good run from her," said Halford.

"She had a nice break and has come back to herself well, so we're looking forward to getting her going again.

"We thought that this being a Group Three for fillies and mares was a good race for her. We thought we'd keep her at home then go to the Curragh on Derby weekend (Sapphire Stakes) as well."

Clive Cox took this race 12 months ago and saddles Capercaillie this time, but he feels the four-year-old has to show improved form to take a hand in the finish.

"She's in good form and has got a good draw (three)," said the Lambourn trainer.

"She's going to need a career best, but I believe the track will suit and it's our aim to try and achieve some Group Three black type."

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