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Ballycorus Stakes Preview 6.55 Leopardstown Thursday

A small but select field lines up for the Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes at Leopardstown. On official ratings there is only 4lbs between all six runners but Aidan O’Brien’s Reply is likely to go off a short priced favourite.

The four-year-old by Oasis Dream still holds entries at Royal Ascot including the Queen Anne Stakes over a mile and the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Reply has more than paid his keep for connections, winning a £300,000 sales race as a two-year-old before being placed in the Irish Guineas last season.

He lost his form after that race and has been running in a visor but got back on the winning trail at Naas last week. That race was over seven furlongs and he never looked in danger of defeat once taking it up with two furlongs to run.

He had previously finished second to Hitchens in the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes over six furlongs. The tough and consistent Lily’s Angel could give him most to do.

She has won ten of her 22 career starts including a comfortable success at Meydan in January. She enjoyed Group 3 success at Lingfield last month before finishing third behind the smart Chigun at the Curragh.

Sruthan won his first two starts but disappointed over ten furlongs at the Curragh recently. He ran too freely that day and dropped out tamely to finish fifth. He may do better now that he reverts to seven furlongs.

Dermot Weld relies on Yellow Rosebud who was surprisingly beaten by Rehn’s Nest at the Curragh when odds-on favourite. That form does not look so bad after the winner went on to finish second in the Irish 1000 Guineas. Neither Yellow Rosebud or Lily’s Angel could get in a blow behind Custom Cut in April and are closely matched on that form.

Leitir Mor is better known as a pacemaker for Dawn Approach, showing that he is no slouch himself by holding on for second in the Dewhurst Stakes last year. He faded to finish ninth in the Guineas but cut little ice at the Curragh last time when dropping back to sixth.