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Iver Bridge Lad is to return from a near four-month break by bidding for Group One glory in the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on Sunday.

John Ryan gave his four-year-old sprinter a well-deserved holiday after he ran in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot as he had been on the go throughout the winter and spring.

The son of 2005 Abbaye hero Avonbridge is now raring to go for a crack at Europe’s top five-furlong (1000m) dash.

“We gave him a break after the King’s Stand. He had a very active winter in Dubai then came back to England and ran in some very strong races,” the Newmarket trainer said.

“This has been a long-standing plan. It will be a tough contest, no matter what, and hopefully on a surface that will be slightly easier than the ground has been in England.

“Even good to firm in France would tend to be on the easier side than it is in England.

“Michael O’Connell will ride him. We’re giving the kid a shout in a Group One and he’s had faith in the horse all the way through.

“He made a good partnership with the horse in Dubai. He is the only jockey to have won two races on him and he knows him well. I like to stick with a winning team.

“I’d then like to take the horse back to Dubai. He loves it out there, he’s made for the place as it suits his way of training and working.

“To do that we had to give him a break – horses are not machines. We turned him out and let him switch him off completely.

“Sprinters need a break.”


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