Morando stars in quality field for Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown

Wed 16 Aug 2017

Roger Varian is looking to see Morando continue his progression in the Invesco Pension Consultants Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday evening.

The four-year-old has won four of his six races, including a Listed event at Windsor on his seasonal reappearance last time out, when subsequent Sussex Stakes winner Here Comes When could finish only third.

Morando holds an entry in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes later in the season and Varian is hopeful he can continue to climb the ladder.

"It was a strong Listed race he won at Windsor and this looks very similar," said the Newmarket handler.

"Although he didn't win by far, I thought it was a bit cosy at the finish and you'd like to think there's more to come.

"He's got a progressive profile, he's only had one run this season as he wasn't quite right early on.

"The ground should be fine, it might dry up to good to yielding and that's fine, I don't think he'll ever want fast ground.

"He seems to save his best for the track and has got the autumn written all over him.

"He was winter favourite for the Lincoln but didn't come to hand in time so I hope the owner has his patience rewarded later in the season."

Fozzy Stack has compared running Diamond Fields and Alexios Komnenos against each other as like choosing between your two favourite children.

Jockey Chris Hayes has gone with the potential of Alexios Komnenos, a close second to Churchill last season before injury halted his career, over the proven quality of Diamond Fields, a Group Three winner in April.

With a penalty for that success, Diamond Fields might just find things a bit tougher and Stack is hoping the year younger colt Alexios Komnenos can build on a fair comeback effort when third at the Curragh last month.

"They've both got the same rating but Diamond Fields has a penalty, which will make life a bit trickier for her," said Stack.

"I think that was what influenced Chris Hayes' decision to be fair, it's a bit like running your two favourite children against each other.

"But jeez, it's a good race. I thought it might cut up a bit but it hasn't.

"They are both in good shape and should both go well.

"Alexios had a setback after pushing Churchill close in the Tyros last year. He ran ok on what was his first run for a year, he just got a bit tired, hopefully there's more to come.

"You know what you are going to get with Diamond Fields, she's been there and done that."

Ger Lyons' Sea Wolf, Johnny Murtagh's True Valour and Jim Bolger's Flight Risk are others with leading claims.

Custom Cut, a regular in these types of races, Joseph O'Brien's Moyglare winner Intricately, who has been disappointing this season, and Aidan O'Brien's Music Box, a Listed winner at Galway, complete the list.

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