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Focus on victory after Royal success

By Frank Brownlow

Royal Focus was snapped up for €10,000 after winning at Down Royal last September and can claw back some of that outlay at Dundalk tonight.

That's the view of trainer Gerard O'Leary who contests the six-furlong Hen & Stag Packages At Dundalk Stadium Handicap with Royal Focus, a horse bought after he won a claimer at Down Royal for Jim Bolger last season on his sole start.

"He's done fine since he's been with us. We gelded him and he's easy and straightforward to train," said Kildare-based O'Leary.

"The run will bring him on. I'd prefer to go over seven furlongs with him as seven or a mile is his trip, but this is the only race for him on the ground. He'll definitely go up in trip."

Paul Deegan hopes Prince Of All can cope with a drop in trip in the Patton Stakes on the same card.

The Iffraaj colt steps up to Listed class after opening his account in good style over a mile on this track last month, having had just one run as a juvenile. Prince Of All holds an entry in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas but Deegan feels the horse may not be quite ready for such exalted company just yet.

"He's a very big horse, an imposing sort of horse. We wouldn't be sure what his end trip is going to be," said the Curragh handler.

"Stepping back to seven furlongs is a slight concern. He has a lot of ability. We weren't keen to go 10 furlongs with him yet.

"He did it well the last day. He's a big raw horse and where he goes depends on the ground. He's a proper good-ground horse.

"He's a long way off Group standard yet, but if he won and won well he probably would take his chance in the Irish 2,000 Guineas."

Belfast Telegraph


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