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Dr Zempf leads home Lyons pair in Ballycorus

Dr Zempf returned to winning ways with a smart performance in the Ballycorus Stakes at Leopardstown.

Ger Lyons’ colt took the runner-up spot in the Phoenix Stakes last season and returned this year with a victory over this seven-furlong course and distance before finishing fifth in the Tetrarch Stakes.

Always tracking the pace set by Pretreville, Colin Keane’s mount put the race to bed when hitting top gear just over a furlong out, with the 13-8 favourite scoring by two lengths.

Stablemate Straight Answer finished strongly to deny Pretreville second by a nose.

Lyons said: “That was good and the wheels are back on the wagon in no uncertain terms.

“I never had a doubt that he would get a mile and I was wrong. Colin said that he is strengthening up all the time. He did that really well and I would say that is his best performance. He loved the ground.

“He shows me plenty of speed at home that we could bring him back to six but Colin said don’t do that.

“I’d say his future will be in America for Peter (Brant, owner) and I’d say that is where he will win his Grade One around two bends.”

Straight Answer bounced back to form in second
Straight Answer bounced back to form in second (Niall Carson/PA)

Lyons was also pleased with the performance of the runner-up: “That was a lovely run from Straight Answer,” he said.

“We were baffled with his run in the Lacken – I’m not sure if he hit the ridges or what happened.

“Rory and Barry (Mahon) are adamant that the pedigree suggests he goes further. He hasn’t missed a day since the Lacken and he needs the mile.

“Gary (Carroll) said he’ll win one of those over a mile.”

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