June 29, 2022, 5:43

    Irish Derby contender Lionel is “only going to get better” says trainer David Menuisier

    Irish Derby contender Lionel is “only going to get better” says trainer David Menuisier

    Lionel is tasked with upholding family tradition in his pursuit of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby prize pot.

    David Menuisier resisted the urge to chase Derby honours at Epsom with the promising colt.

    While his charge kept a low profile, Westover endured a luckless passage and flashed home for third behind Classic king Desert Crown.

    Ralph Beckett's charge is favourite to make amends at the Curragh, a meeting always on the agenda for the number two British contender.

    Lionel, a relation to 2011 Irish St Leger winner Duncan, hails from one of Normandie Stud's most successful families.

    And Menuisier feels it is only a matter of time before the three-year-old hits the mark at Group level.

    "The exciting thing is we don't know how good he is yet," the trainer said.

    Jamie Spencer riding Lionel (right, pink colours) to win the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood from Frankie Dettori's mount Aldous Huxley

    Getty Images)

    "He did something very special at Goodwood (on May 20). He's a big horse and the track wasn't ideal.

    "They weren't world beaters in behind but it was the way he won it."

    A racecourse gallop at Kempton put the finishing touches to preparations for the son of Lope de Vega, the speed influence among a pedigree with plenty of stamina.

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    With Westover's team recruiting Colin Keane for his knowledge of the track, Menuisier feels the Irish venue will also play to Lionel's strengths.

    "He can use his stride and Curragh will be ideal for him," he added.

    "We are not looking at the opposition, all we can focus on is getting our horse there in the best shape possible.

    "He's had the time to fill his frame and we've waited for him to give us the signal – and he's only going to get better as he gets older."

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    Sourse: mirror.co.uk

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