Expert Eye: Two horses to back at Leopardstown on August 12

Punters have the pick of seven British cards on Thursday but it's the action at Leopardstown that comes under the scrutiny of Planet Sport experts.


6.30 Leopardstown - Create Belief

7.00 Leopardstown - Fernando Vichi

There's Group race action at Leopardstown on Thursday evening with nine set to go to post for the the Group 3 Desmond Stakes over a mile.

They include the Johnny Murtagh-trained Create Belief, who was last seen demolishing her handicap rivals in the Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Running off a 10lb higher mark for winning a handicap at the Curragh previously, she looked the likely winner from a long way out, taking the lead easily two furlongs out and then keeping on strongly to win by five and a half lengths.

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Clearly relishing the heavy ground on that occasion - all three of her wins have come with plenty of give underfoot - she should again have conditions to suit, with the ground currently riding good to yielding and showers forecast before racing.

The more rain the better for her.

Amongst her rivals are the Aidan O'Brien-trained Military Style, a Group winner at two and the mount of Ryan Moore, although he's entitled to come on for this comeback run, his first for 333 days.

His stable form is another concern, with just one winner to show from the last 30 runners at the time of writing, and they include plenty of favourites.

Aidan O'Brien has been struggling for winners of late
Aidan O'Brien has been struggling for winners of late

Jessica Harrington's Real Appeal is another worth considering having won a Group 3 here in comfortable fashion on his most recent outing, although that was over 7f and he might be best suited by that trip.

He's also conceding nearly a stone to Create Belief, who is in receipt of the age and sex allowances and that could prove decisive.

Murtagh, who has booked Shane Kelly to replace the suspended Ben Coen, said earlier this week.

"He's second jockey here waiting in the wings. He has won on horses like Sonnyboyliston and Ottoman Emperor this year and gets his chance on Thursday. He's very capable.

"We have been waiting for the ground for Create Belief, hopefully they will get a bit of rain at Leopardstown."

The Listed Vinnie Roe Stakes (1m6f) run half an hour later has attracted a field of six and looks to be between Aidan O'Brien's Interpretation and Fernando Vichi, trained by his son Donnacha.

They meet off level weights and the latter horse, who is rated 3lb superior, gets the nod as he looks a smart stayer in the making and will find this assignment far easier than the Irish Derby he contested last time.

Previously he'd posted a personal best when just doing enough to hold off The Mediterranean over 1m4f at this track, and his earlier defeats behind Bolshoi Ballet - Epsom Derby favourite at the time - came over inadequate trips.

He's well entered up later in the season, including the St Leger and Long Distance Cup on Champions Day, so he really needs to be winning this evening to justify such an ambitious campaign.

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