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The one race you can't afford to miss on Thursday as Byron goes to battle again

Plusvital Ballycorus Stakes (Group 3) | 7f | 3yo+ | RTV

Why is it interesting?

Gordon Lord Byron edges ever closer to becoming a centurion as Tom Hogan's evergreen 11-year-old makes his 98th racecourse appearance.

Gordon Lord Byron is now a household name and has even had a movie made about him, but his racing days are nowhere near over judging by his fine third to Mr Lupton in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh last month.

The battle-hardened son of Byron will get a terrific reception in the Leopardstown's winners' enclosure should he register career win number 17.

Flight Risk, who won this race as a six-year-old in 2017, is back to try and reclaim the crown at the age of eight.

Jim Bolger's son of Teofilo is making his 12th trip to Leopardstown and bids for third course victory.

Last Thursday night he turned what looked a wide-open renewal of the Listed Glencairn Stakes into a procession as he scooted clear in the closing stages to beat Hand On Heart by three and a half lengths.

This will be his 43rd outing but last week's wide-margin win suggests he is better than ever.

What do the stats say?

Billy Lee gets on better with Gordon Lord Byron than any other jockey. Lee has only ridden the popular veteran once in his last five starts, when fourth at Cork last month, but his form figures while on board Tom Hogan's stable star prior to that read 11644745552224.

This Group 3 has not been a happy hunting ground for punters either as last year's winner, True Valour (7-4), is the only favourite to have obliged in the last six years.

There have only been two winning favourites in the last decade, and the average price of the winner in that time is just under 6-1.

What do the trainers say?

Tom Hogan, trainer of Gordon Lord Byron
If the race was at the Curragh I'd be even more confident than I am. He's working great and he's very happy in himself. He's in great form on Monday morning, so I'm very hopeful. He still seems to be loving what he's doing anyway.

Fozzy Stack, trainer of Iiex Excelsa
She's in good form but ground is important to her and she needs some cut. We'll monitor the situation and see how much rain they get.

Aidan O'Brien, trainer of Fire Fly and I Remember You
They are both in good form and the main objective is to try and pinch some black type for them. Both are dropping down in trip but they have won over seven furlongs before, so the sharper test shouldn't be a problem. 

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