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Elliott plotting Dundalk route to the Breeders' Cup for Dirar.

Byline: Jessica Lamb

GORDON ELLIOTT, who has already won the John Smith's Grand National and Totesport Ebor in his short training career, has his sights set on the Breeders' Cup.

His Totesport Ebor victor Dirar was yesterday one of 32 entries revealed for the Group 3 Diamond Stakes at Dundalk on October 1, along with last year's Racing Post Trophy winner St Nicholas Abbey, who has not run since finishing sixth in the 2,000 Guineas, after which he had an injury setback.

The EUR39,000 1m2f contest is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge 'Win And You're In' series and will guarantee its winner a place in the line-up of the Breeders' Cup Marathon at Churchill Downs on November 5. Elliott said yesterday: "At the moment the plan is to run him there and go to the Breeders' Cup if we win. He's a horse who needs a trip and there aren't that many opportunities for him, so we thought we would let him take his chance."

Dirar is unbeaten in his last three Flat starts, but finished sixth of seven in the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes on his only Group 3 outing, at Leopardstown in April 2008.

He could face last year's Marathon winner Man Of Iron, who scored at Santa Anita for Aidan O'Brien, but who has not cut so much ice in two subsequent starts for Luca Cumani at Newmarket.

O'Brien, who took the Dundalk event 12 months ago with Mastercraftsman, who was then fourth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, has eight entries in addition to St Nicholas Abbey. They include Killarney winner and Irish 2,000 Guineas fourth Steinbeck and Leopardstown Group 3 scorer Beethoven.

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Ebor winner Dirar is lined up for Dundalk's Group 3 Diamond Stakes
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Aug 28, 2010
Words:296
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