Panama Hat to wear blinkers for Lenebane Stakes

Aidan O’Brien uses first-time cheek-pieces on Antelope Canyon in the juvenile maiden

Headgear could be the order of the evening at Roscommon where first-time blinkers are applied to the top-rated Panama Hat in the €45,000-listed feature.

A mixed weather outlook may mean headgear is required for racegoers too at the Lenebane Stakes fixture but their prospects can be brightened if blinkers have the desired impact on Panama Hat.

The former course and distance winner put in a fine effort in the Savel Beg Stakes, finding only Kingfisher too good, but disappointed eight days ago in the Curragh Cup when last of six to Bondi Beach.

There didn't appear any obvious reason for that but trainer Andy Oliver has resorted to headgear for this drop back to a mile and a half and if Panama Hat runs up to his 108 rating he should be hard to beat.

Aidan O’Brien runs both Cradle Mountain and Bantry Bay, with the latter dropping from a good effort in the two-mile Queens Vase at Ascot behind his stable companion Aloft.

Whether this trip, or track, will suit Bantry Bay however is debatable and on figures the three-year-old could have a job on his hands.

O’Brien uses first-time cheek-pieces on Antelope Canyon in the juvenile maiden and that may prove the trick for a colt who blew the start at the Curragh last time and then ran into trouble in the race won by Final Frontier.

It has taken Affinisea until now to make his debut in the concluding mile and a half maiden but as a close relation of the former Irish Derby and Coronation Cup winner Solider Of Fortune, he is bred to be talented.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column

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