Mutasarref the fancy for Ballycorus honours at Leopardstown

The Dark Angel gelding has developed into an admirable black-type performer for Ger Lyons

Mutasarref is fancied to take the Ballycorus Stakes for trainer Ger Lyons and jockey Colin Keane this evening (Brian Lawless/PA)

MUTASARREF can bag another stakes victory for himself in the Ballycorus Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday.

The Dark Angel gelding has developed into an admirable black-type performer for connections in recent years and has already taken a Listed race at Naas this season.

He did well to extricate himself from a tricky position on the rail in the Owenstown Stud Stakes last month before running out a cosy winner from Special Wan over this seven-furlong trip.

It’s a distance that seems to suit him down to the ground with six of his seven career victories coming at the trip.

He is also a dual winner around here and looks the one to beat coming into this race in fine form.

Colin Keane takes the mount on the six-year-old again and has always been a fan of the horse.

He also partnered I Am Superman to success last time out and Michael O’Callaghan’s charge looks like an obvious danger in the race.

The Footstepsinthesand has had quite a career, with a couple of Group Two wins in Australia and a narrow defeat in top company.

He showed he still retains plenty of ability when taking a decent little conditions event at Gowran Park last month but this is a tougher test now.

Real Appeal is top rated in the field, with a mark of 106, and is another that has to be respected in a good race.

He ran well at this level when second to Bold Discovery over a mile here last month and is sure to be thereabouts again.

There are some very interesting maidens to open the card and first season sire Circus Maximus has a couple of well-bred newcomers in the opening fillies’ juvenile maiden.

Jessica Harrington saddles Proxima Centauri, the third produce of the great race-mare Alpha Centauri.

Her half-brother Saturn is developing into a smart handicapper and it will be interesting to see how she fares.

Donnacha O’Brien is responsible for Now, a half-sister to Rip Van Winkle, and the market may also prove the best guide to her chances.

Harrington also saddles another well-bred sort in Lucky Melody in the following three-year-old plus fillies maiden over the same seven-furlong trip.

This daughter of Phoenix Of Spain, a half-sister to Group 1 winner Lucky Vega, won a barrier trial at Naas recently and a big show will be expected now on her official debut.