Michael Halford feels Sinawann has a golden opportunity of landing a Group Three success in the Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown on Wednesday following his solid run in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
The Kingman colt was placed at Group Two level behind leading Investec Derby fancy Mogul in September on the back of a maiden success at the Curragh.
Sinawann was thrown in at the deep end on his seasonal debut in the Irish Classic but shaped really well to finish sixth behind Siskin when not getting the clearest of runs.
Halford could not have been happier with the colt, owned and bred by the Aga Khan, since that big effort.
“He’s been in good form since his run in the Guineas and I’m very happy with him,” said the County Kildare handler.
“This looks a nice race for him. He’s come forward in his work at home. This looks right for him. He ran well at Leopardstown before and on ratings he looks the one to beat.
“I’m very pleased with him.”
Sinawann’s six rivals include two from the Aidan O’Brien stable, New World Tapestry and Celtic High King.
Former O’Brien inmate Masteroffoxhounds got off the mark for trainer Jessica Harrington in a Naas maiden three weeks ago and takes a big step up in class.
Johnny Murtagh has an interesting contender in recent Gowran scorer So Suave, Andy Oliver saddles dual Leopardstown handicap victor Confidence High.
Denis Hogan’s Dalvey, who got off the mark at the same track on his second start, completes the line-up.
Halford and the Aga Khan are represented in the other Group Three race on the card, the Derrinstown Stud Fillies Stakes, with Ridenza.
She was a late withdrawal from the Irish 1,000 Guineas due to the fast ground.
The daughter of Sea The Stars has had just the one run but at least it came on this track in August when she took a seven-furlong maiden in highly-promising fashion.
“We had hoped to run her in the Guineas but the ground was too quick on the day so we decided not to risk her,” said Halford.
“She too is ready to start and she’s in great form.
“It looks a strong race but we look forward to getting her back and getting her started. I’m sure we can plan from there then but she’s ready to start.”
She faces stiff opposition headed by the O’Brien-trained So Wonderful, who has solid form at the highest level.
She has finished third in the Irish Guineas and fourth in the Coronation Stakes on her two starts this term but she has yet to win from 10 races. O’Brien also runs Tango.
Dermot Weld’s Amma Grace and the Murtagh-trained Know It All have run creditably in Group races this season.
Apricot Moon, Celestial Object, Faire Croire and Schroders Mistake make up the nine runners.
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