Kevin Ryan out to be prize guy
Kevin Ryan has soared to unprecedented heights with The Grey Gatsby this summer and the Co Tipperary native will bid to claim yet another lucrative prize by giving Pintura its third stab at the Topaz Mile at Galway tonight.
The mile handicap is a less prestigious event than anything that Yorkshire-based Ryan's French Derby hero will be competing in, but its €69,000 winner's purse is not to be sniffed at.
Pintura was just denied by the re-opposing Vastonea in this in 2012 before going on to land another valuable event on the Saturday, and he then followed last year's fifth with a second in the same weekend contest.
Declan McDonogh was aboard Pintura for both the win and the second place, so the fact that the former champion is back up now for just the third time is significant.
The current champion Joseph O'Brien is booked for Jack's Revenge, one of three other raiders set to tackle what should be a compelling feature, with Vastonea's trainer Kevin Prendergast also saddling the three-year-old Maskoon in his quest to win the race for a sixth time.
It's 10 years since a three-year-old won the Topaz Mile, and Prendergast sent out Eklim to score for the Classic generation under McDonogh in 2003.
Like Eklim, Maskoon is owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, whose rejuvenated Shadwell operation enjoyed a euphoric triumph with Taghrooda at Ascot on Saturday.
Victory for Maskoon against his elders wouldn't constitute quite such a landmark feat. Still, it would be yet another boon for a crop that continues to look a little bit special.