Gordon Lord Byron sets the standard in Minstrel Stakes
Gordon Lord Byron is well established as one of the leading sprinters and seven-furlong horses in training and drops to Group 3 company in Saturday’s Minstrel Stakes. In his most recent start he was fourth to Lethal Force in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and a repeat of that effort would make him difficult to beat here.
The son of Byron is arguably better at this distance having won the Group 1 Prix de la Foret over this trip at Longchamp last season. He has also run creditably in Group 1 events at Haydock and Sha Tin.
Gordon Lord Byron carries a Group 1 penalty in this race and his most dangerous rival could be the lightly raced Darwin from Aidan O’Brien’s stable. The son of Big Brown is an exciting American import and won on his first start for Ballydoyle when winning decisively at Naas last month.
The value of the form is hard to judge with only three runners but both of his rivals had won races. Joseph O’Brien drove him to the front over a furlong from home and he won with the minimum of fuss.
Reports suggest that Darwin could develop into a Group One performer and he must be a threat in receipt of 12lbs.
Jim Bolger’s Leitir Mor has spent much of the season acting as a pacemaker but is a decent horse in his own right. His last run was in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot but he had previously beaten Lily’s Angel at Leopardstown.
Custom Cut ran a good race when second to Duntle at Leopardstown in May but struggled behind Gregorian at Epsom. The fast ground may also be a concern for the son of Notnowcato.
Bold Thady Quill and True Verdict complete the six-runner line up with the race due off at 5.40.