Noel Meade is one of the very best trainers in Ireland on the national hunt scene. However, he is also a dab hand on the Flat and has won a couple of huge races on the level this year – a Group 1 and also the Lincolnshire Handicap.
Meade has had a terrific last few months in all as he also had huge success over the jumps. Jeff Kidder is the new star on the block for the yard, winning at the Cheltenham Festival before going on to land a Grade 1 at Punchestown.
It is fascinating that Meade will send one runner over to run at Ascot on Friday afternoon. He would not be sending a horse over just for the fun of it and with the yard in form, the horse is to be taken very seriously.
Running the the Group 3 Valiant Stakes at Sandown at 3.00pm, the horse in question is Elysium. It has to be a slight concern that the horse has been off the track 299 days, especially as she ran a poor race first time out in June last year on debut.
William Buick has been booked for the ride and that has to be a huge plus point as he is a top-class jockey. The Belardo filly has some nice form in the book and if she is ready to go she is not without a chance.
When winning her maiden at Navan, she has subsequent Group 2 winner and Group 2 placer Miss Amulet behind in fourth. She rounded off her season with victory in the Group 3 Weld Park Stakes at the Curragh. No Speak Alexander who was in fourth won a Group 3 first time out this year and was then only beaten a length in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.
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