Lionel set for a break after fruitless Curragh trip

Lionel is set for a mid-season break after finding conditions too quick for his liking in the Irish Derby at the Curragh on Saturday.

David Menuisier’s colt earned his tilt at Classic glory with victory in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood last month, knuckling down to see off Aldous Huxley and Lysander on soft ground.

The Newmarket-based trainer headed for Ireland with high hopes, but saw his charge finish last of eight runners under Jamie Spencer, with the forecast rain arriving too late.

Menuisier said: “He seems fine. The ground was a bit quick for him, so he couldn’t quite find his feet.

“The ground dried out dramatically. We walked the course in the morning and the horse had a little exercise and seemed fine, but the wind was strong and it dried out too much for him.

“Obviously the rain came at night and the ground was soft the next day, so it’s just one of those things.

“He’s going to go for a little break now. The horse will want soft ground, but there’s no real plan.

“He’s only just run, so we’ll see. We feel he wants a little break and we’ll see what happens.”

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