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Doctor in good order.

Dr Johnson, runner-up to Desert King in the Budweiser Irish Derby, will reappear in the Ballycullen Stakes at Leopardstown tomorrow as a trial for the English St Leger.

Reportedly in good form following a minor setback, Dr Johnson will be reunited with Christy Roche in this listed event over a mile and six furlongs.

Dr Johnson is unproven over this trip and will face a stern test in tomorrow's race thanks to the presence of the John Oxx-trained mare, Key Change.

The filly, off the track since the spring, is reappearing en-route to the Irish St Leger and is top-class.

Placed at the top level last season, she notched up a Group 1 success in the Yorkshire Oaks a year ago.

A sick horse earlier in the year, she is now back in top form and, despite her hefty penalties, will prove a sound yardstick for Dr Johnson and his trainer Charles O'Brien.

Michael Kinane leaves today with trainer Dermot Weld bound for Arlington Park in America, where they will be associated with two runners this weekend, Dance Design and Casey Tibbs.

Although disappointing in Germany last time, Dance Design should run a big race as she bids to emulate compatriot Timarida in the Beverly D.

On the local front, Pennybridge stands out as the nap selection in the Cleaboy Stud Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan this evening.

This bold-jumping, front-runner scored at Down Royal before running prominently and finishing sixth in the Digital Galway Plate. He appears to have this event at his mercy.

Very unlucky at Galway, Applefort can open his chasing account by winning the Hackett Bookmakers Beginners' Chase.

Tom Joad, a convincing winner of a modest Sligo bumper, should make a winning hurdling debut in the Loughnagore Maiden Hurdle. Aidan O'Brien's Dockline and Bitofabuzz look the chief dangers.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:O'hehir, Peter
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 22, 1997
Words:301
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