Kevin Prendergast: Madhmoon couldn't be better with Irish Champion the goal

Invesco Pension Consultants Desmond Stakes (Group 3) | 1m, 3yo+ | RTV

Madhmoon returns to a mile and drops in class as Kevin Prendergast hopes his Derby runner-up will book his ticket to the Irish Champion Stakes in style.

Having gone through his juvenile season unbeaten, Madhmoon has yet to get his head in front this term but has been brave in defeat on a few occasions, most notably when going down by just half a length to Anthony Van Dyck in the Investec Derby at Epsom.

He was also fourth to Magna Grecia in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, but arrives at Leopardstown off the back of a disappointing display in the Irish Derby where he was a well-beaten fourth behind Sovereign.

"Madhmoon couldn't be better. He wouldn't be running if I didn't think he was 100 per cent and ready to do himself justice. The Irish Champion Stakes is his goal and hopefully he will run a nice race and it will leave him spot on for that," said Prendergast.

Madhmoon is 16-1 with most firms for the Irish Champion Stakes at the track on September 14.

On ratings it should be a straightforward assignment for Madhmoon as the son of Dawn Approach has a mark of 117, 7lb clear of the Jim Bolger-trained Ancient Spirit whom he receives 7lb from.

Last year's winner Pincheck is back to defend his crown, but he needs to put a lacklustre effort in last month's Meld Stakes behind him, where he finished fifth of seven behind Mohawk.

There has only been one winning favourite in the last five years, Cougar Mountain in 2015, but the good news for Madhmoon's supporters is that three-year-olds have won two of the last three runnings thanks to Alexios Komnenos (2017) and Tribal Beat (2016).

Aidan O'Brien, who has won the race twice in the last decade with Beethoven (2010) and the aforementioned Cougar Mountain, is represented by Turnberry Isle and I Remember You.