Alexios Komnenos stakes Champions Weekend claim with Desmond glory

Thu 17 Aug 2017

Alexios Komnenos stepped up on his seasonal bow to win the Group Three Invesco Pension Consultants Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown.

The Choisir colt was a smart performer as a juvenile last term, notably finishing just a neck behind subsequent Classic winner Churchill in the Tyros Stakes last July.

However, he was sidelined after that run until making his return when third in a Listed event at the Curragh last month, with that outing clearly having done Fozzy Stack's charge the world of good.

Chris Hayes tracked early leader Custom Cut up the rails before unleashing Alexios Komnenos with around a furlong to run.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained Music Box emerged late from the chasing pack and while she gave it her best, she was a length and a half down at the line with Custom Cut a further short head back in third. 

"He quickened up well. It's amazing, with what he's been through, to even be here today," said Stack.

"A big thanks goes to the staff at home and every vet in O'Byrne and Halleys. It's a wonder he's here at all. They gave him a 10 percent chance of racing again.

"He had an infection in his hind suspensory. They had to split his suspensory to wash it out and get the infection out. They even flew special maggots over from England that fight infection.

"It was just an infection and it must have been something going around his system. There wasn't a cut or a mark or anything.

"It happened just a week or 10 days before the National Stakes last year.

"If he's still in one piece in a few weeks' time, he'll come back for the Group Two Boomerang Stakes. We'll leave him at a mile for the minute.

"He was six months doing nothing and it's only his fourth run. He probably doesn't kill himself when he gets to the front. Hopefully he'll improve.

"The dream lives on a bit longer and hopefully he's all right in the morning."

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