Search For A Song is set to face seven rivals when she bids for back-to-back victories in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger at the Curragh on Sunday.
The Moyglare Stud Farm-owned filly provided trainer Dermot Weld with an eighth success in the final Classic of the Irish season 12 months ago, leaving him one short of the record set by the late Vincent O’Brien.
Search For A Song is winless in three starts this season, but did run with credit over an inadequate trip when third behind the top-class Magical in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on her latest appearance.
Twilight Payment is the likely favourite for Joseph O’Brien, after landing both the Vintage Crop Stakes and the Curragh Cup over the course and distance this season.
Aidan O’Brien saddles last year’s Irish Derby hero Sovereign, who was last seen chasing home Enable in the King George, as well as three-year-old filly Passion.
Jessica Harrington’s Barbados, the Willie Mullins-trained Micro Manage and Luke Comer’s Raa Atoll complete the home team, with British hopes carried by Roger Varian’s Ebor winner Fujaira Prince.
The first of four Group Ones on day two of Longines Irish Champions Weekend is the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes, which has attracted 15 high-class sprinters.
Denis Hogan’s prolific five-year-old Make A Challenge faces an eight-strong British contingent which includes the Michael Dods-trained Que Amoro – runner-up to Battaash in the Nunthorpe at York last month – and Simon and Ed Crisford’s course and distance winner A’Ali.
Joseph O’Brien’s hugely impressive Debutante winner Pretty Gorgeous is a short-priced favourite for the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
She is reopposed by Donnacha O’Brien’s Debutante runner-up Shale and Aidan O’Brien’s Debutante third Mother Earth, while Ken Condon has both Teresa Mendoza and Thunder Beauty in a field of 13 juvenile fillies.
The Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes throws up a fascinating Anglo-Irish clash between Master Of The Seas and Battleground.
The unbeaten Master Of The Seas bids to provide Charlie Appleby with a third straight win in the seven-furlong contest, following the recent triumphs of Quorto and Pinatubo.
Aidan O’Brien has won the race on 11 occasions and is represented by his star juvenile colt of the campaign so far in Battleground – winner of the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Vintage at Goodwood this summer.
The pair are joined at the head of the betting by Harrington’s Phoenix Stakes victor Lucky Vega in what could well be the strongest two-year-old race of the season so far.
Group Two honours are up for grabs in the Blandford Stakes, which features O’Brien senior’s Magic Wand and Harrington’s pair of Cayenne Pepper and One Voice.
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