Castle Star and Royal Ascot runner-up Go Bears Go are among 20 confirmations for the Group Two GAIN Railway Stakes at the Curragh.
Fozzy Stack’s impressive Marble Hill Stakes winner Castle Star appears set to return over course and distance – while David Loughnane’s Go Bears Go, beaten just a head in the Norfolk Stakes last week, has been supplemented for Saturday’s race and is set to move up to six furlongs for the first time.
Potential opposition for both includes four remaining Aidan O’Brien contenders – Amalfi Coast, Cadamosto, The Acropolis and The Entertainer, the first three of whom finished out of the frame in their various Royal Ascot bids.
Donnacha O’Brien’s Masseto, second to Castle Star last month and subsequently a close fourth in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot, may reoppose this weekend.
The unbeaten Dukebox, for Richard Hannon, joins Go Bears Go as a second possible British challenger.
Like his father, Joseph O’Brien supplies four of the provisional home contingent – although the maiden Agartha is declared to run first at Naas on Wednesday
Two recent course and distance winners – Ger Lyons’ unbeaten Dr Zempf and Paddy Twomey’s Pinar Del Rio – are also notable entries. Lyons was successful in this race two years ago with his subsequent Classic hero Siskin.
Stack reports Castle Star in fine form since he caught the eye of so many in the Marble Hill.
“He worked nicely this morning,” he said on Tuesday.
“We’re happy with him, and he’s in good order – we’re looking forward to running him.
The Tipperary trainer has no regrets about staying away from Ascot, preferring to stick on home territory at this stage.
Stack added: “He likes the Curragh – and at Ascot, if you get drawn at the wrong side you might as well stay at home, whichever is favoured on the day.
“He seems as well as ever – so we just hope everything goes according to plan for the next four or five days.”
Elsewhere on the Irish Derby card, there are still 23 in contention for the Group Three ARM Holding International Stakes – including Willie Mullins’ globe-trotting mare True Self, Lyons’ Munster Oaks heroine Thunder Kiss and 12 between Joseph and Aidan O’Brien.