Jockey Kevin Brouder will try to secure the biggest win of his career in Wednesday’s Guinness Kerry National before beginning an eight-week ban for breaching race-day health screening protocols.
Brouder was suspended from attending a racecourse for eight weeks, and fined €500, after breaking coronavirus screening regulations at Galway earlier this month.
A Referrals panel decided the 22-year-old rider had acted “in a manner which is prejudicial to the integrity and good reputation of horse racing” after admitting to wrongfully claiming an admission wristband for a passenger in his car at Galway.
The ban begins on Friday but before that Brouder – who scored on the 125-1 outsider Le Figaro Faoudel at Listowel on Monday – has a chance to win the festival’s €150,000 feature.
His mount, the Charles Byrnes-trained Doctor Duffy, is among the favourites for the prestigious handicap after 18 horses were declared for the big race on Monday.
Last year’s winning jockey, Rachael Blackmore, will team up with Spyglass Hill, one of three Henry De Bromhead-trained runners.
Champion trainer Willie Mullins is also triple-handed while his big rival, Gordon Elliott, will give last year’s runner up Ravenhill an opportunity to go one better.
Paul Townend has opted for Cabaret Queen from the Mullins trio and the trainer’s son, Patrick, said: “I think it’s a race that’ll suit Cabaret Queen, a race where you get out on the front end, jumping and rhythm is at a premium.
“There’s a lot of jumping, a lot of turning, and a flat track, I think that’ll all suit her.”
Peregrine Run, a first fence faller at Listowel on Sunday, tops the weights.
Jessica Harrington’s Lucky Vega is set to step back in trip to six furlongs for Saturday’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
The impressive Phoenix Stakes winner subsequently endured a luckless passage in the National Stakes over ‘Irish Champions Weekend’ and finished fifth to Thunder Moon in the seven furlong event.
Lucky Vega is one of four Irish trained horses among the 10 entries left in Saturday’s Group One.
Aidan O’Brien has left in both the National Stakes third, St Mark’s Basilica, and Lipizzaner as he pursues a seventh win in the race. Charterhouse (sixth in the National Stakes) is also a potential runner from Ireland.
The home team will include the impressive Gimcrack Stakes winner Minzaal as well as the Queen’s Royal Ascot winner Tactical.
Angus Gold, racing manager to Minzaal’s owner, Sheikh Hamdan, confirmed the colt on target for Newmarket
“Owen (Burrows-trainer) has been very happy with him since York. I’m sure he has another bit of work to do later in the week but provided that goes well, hopefully we’ll see him on Saturday,” he said.
Minzaal just shades Lucky Vega for favouritism in some ante-post lists with the Richmond Stakes winner Supremacy also prominent.
Aidan O’Brien is also doubly represented among a dozen potential runners in Saturday’s other Group One, the Cheveley Park Stakes for fillies.
Ken Condon’s bargain buy, Miss Amulet, will try to follow up her Lowther success at York while ‘Fozzy’ Stack’s Aloha Star could be joined too by the Harrington trained Dickiedooda.
Miss Amulet was made a 4-1 joint-favourite with the unbeaten Dandalla in one ante-post market on Monday.