x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Sea the Stars may take to the track at Leopardstown

Dry Irish weather brings hope that Sea the Stars, bidding for his fifth consecutive Group One win, may make it onto the track at Leopardstown.

Dry Irish weather yesterday brought hope that Sea the Stars, bidding for his fifth consecutive Group One win, may make it onto the track at Leopardstown today after the turf dried from soft to yielding for the Tattersalls Millions Irish Championship Stakes. His trainer, John Oxx declared the horse for the race on Thursday, but always maintained the superstar colt would not run if the going was soft. Yesterday Leopardstown reported fine weather and barring overnight showers, Oxx is set to make a decision this morning after walking the course.

Across the Irish Sea, Kieren Fallon, who rode competitively in England for the first time in three years at Lingfield yesterday, will today attempt to claim a first Group One success of his comeback campaign in the Haydock Sprint Cup. He rides Shadwell Stakes winner, High Standing for William Haggas. Fallon may find his way blocked by Dubai's Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid's Finjaan. His trainer, Marcus Tregoning, bids to follow-up on the horse's Glorious Goodwood Lennox Stakes success and jockey, Richard Hills will have added confidence as his ride beat many of this field in that outing.

They face JJ The Jet Plane, former Mike de Kock's inmate, who has his first run for new trainer, Richard Hannon. Hannon, who acquired the South African sprinter after de Kock had a falling out with the owners after the Lennox Stakes, says the horse has been working exceptionally well. Jim Crowley takes the ride. Attention will also be on Sir Michael Stoute's Main Aim, who runs without regular jockey, Ryan Moore, who serves a ban for careless riding picked up at York. Main Aim, with Saudi owner Khalid Abdulla's French jockey, Stephane Pasquier, flying in for the ride today, joined JJ The Jet Plane in a poor show at Goodwood, with the pair following each other home in second last and dead last.

But both could bounce back if they can recapture their Darley July Cup form that saw Main Aim finish second and JJ The Jet Plane snag a good third for then trainer, de Kock. stregoning@thenational.ae