Spirit Quartz Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Spirit Quartz
Image reproduced with the kind permission of Newmarket Racecourse

Sprint king Robert Cowell will launch a dual assault on the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Cowell will unleash both Spirit Quartz and Iffranesia on the Group Two contest in his bid to claim a first win in the race.

While form figures suggest Iffranesia has something to prove at present, the same does not apply to eight-year-old Spirit Quartz who arrives on the back of a Listed win at Tipperary.

Cowell said: “Spirit Quartz won in Ireland on his last start. He seems to like travelling over to Ireland and making successful raids as he won at Cork earlier in the season as well.

“He ran up to his very best last time and won very comfortably. He should have a good chance of winning again.

“Iffranesia loves underfoot conditions with a bit of ease in them. She will enjoy that out there if the rain comes.

“She is already a Listed winner so if we could get her placed, that would be fantastic.”

David Griffiths is keeping his fingers crossed the County Kildare track is not hit by a deluge of rain to enable his gallant veteran Take Cover to be at his most effective.

Although now nine, the son of Singspiel has shown he is no back number after registering a second King George Stakes win at Goodwood before finishing an admirable third last time out in the Nunthorpe at York.

Griffiths said: “We were delighted with him in the Nunthorpe,”

“It was his first placing in a Group One and it was behind the two top sprinters in Europe. He has come out of that race really well and Sunday’s race looks tough, as you would expect with such good money on offer, but he ran well there last year and we are hopeful that we are going over there with a chance.

“We wouldn’t want too much rain for him and for it to go heavy. He ran really well on soft ground last year but the track was in such amazing condition, it was like a carpet, and when I walked it, it felt like good ground.”

Monsieur Joe is another veteran who is still going well having won two conditions contests this campaign.

Although the five-furlong dash represents a step back up in grade for the nine-year-old, trainer Paul Midgley expects him to run his usual honest race.

He said: “He is in great form and is ready to go again. The ground will be on the easy side but there are no negatives, everything is a positive.

“He has been excellent again this year, as he is every year. He still has lots of enthusiasm and is just a legend of a horse. Words can’t speak highly enough of him.

“He is just one of those horses that all he wants to do all the time is please you. He has a very big heart and plenty of fire in the belly.

“He is so straightfoward, he takes everything in his stride. If he wins this it would be his biggest win, so hopefully everything goes to plan.”