The most high profile runner on the first day of the 2020 Irish Flat season is undoubtedly Sir Dragonet and the outcome of the Devoy Stakes surely boils down to just how sharp he is ahead of his comeback, writes Mark Boylan.
A runaway winner of the Chester Vase before getting beaten by Anthony Van Dyck in the Epsom Derby, Aidan O'Brien's four-year-old clearly sets the standard on ratings.
The Camelot colt is 13lb clear of Joseph O'Brien's Numerian, who gets a 5lb pull at the weights, and three of the remaining five rivals are rated 97.
Sir Dragonet managed to win on his belated debut at Tipperary last April but having been given a 76-day break after his Epsom effort, he looked to really need his return when third in the Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh.
He is clearly more talented than these opponents but a 191-day absence since finishing fourth to Logician in the St Leger – on ground that was quicker than ideal – means he is not bombproof here.
On the opening day of the Flat season for the last five seasons, Aidan O'Brien has been represented in 16 races and won four of them, although it's worth remembering that three of those victories came in maidens.
The Ballydoyle handler said: "He seems in good form and is just ready to start back. It looks like he's done well from three to four. He ran well in the Derby at Epsom last year and we're looking forward to season with him."