SHAMROCK: It’s the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes that is the feature from the Curragh and there’s a quality card that bookends the prize previously won by Johannesburg, Zoffany, and Siskin to name but a few.
Getting the day started is the seven-furlong two-year-old maiden (1.30pm), and Joseph O’Brien’s Al Riffa looks best place to get the day started with a win. The son of Wooton Basset was seen last month on his racecourse debut at the Curragh where he put in a very encouraging performance. The winner that day, Hans Anderson, looked quite smart and with that experience under his belt, he can go one better here.
Travelling over the same distance in the next race, but this time restricted to two-year-old fillies (2.05pm). It might be worth sticking with the same partnership of O’Brien and Dylan Browne McMonagle as they team up again with Madly Truly. This daughter of Cracksman was a runner-up on debut back in June to Johnny Murtagh’s smart looking filly, Sheyya. Those in behind that day have franked the form since and an early double for Joseph could be on the cards.
The six-furlong two-year-old maiden (2.40pm) looks a prime opportunity for Beauty Crescent and Ger Lyons to get on the scoresheet. Having chased home Harry Time to within a length at Navan the last day, the winner has since contested two Group 2’s and chased home Bradsell and Persian Force both of which feature in the Phoenix Stakes, and that could look a smart piece of form come the end of the day.
The Group 3 six-furlong Phoenix Sprint Stakes (3.15pm) looks like the ideal opportunity for Go Bears Go to get back to winning ways. David Loughnane’s charge started the year by taking home the Group 3 Commonwealth Cup Trial at Ascot earlier in the season but has since been off the boil when in deeper waters. Finishing second in the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes the last day, he can bounce back here.
The mile handicap (3.45pm) is the race before the main event. A few of these are quite exposed but Akmaam may be worth following. He changed trainer over the winter and fresh from a pipe opener at Leopardstown he can go in here for new connections.
The main event is the six-furlong Group 1 Phoenix Stakes (4.15pm) and the aforementioned Bradsell looks worthy of following here. With two runs to his name and two wins, this Archie Watson-trained colt has already seen off Persian Force who reopposes here and providing he can deal with Ballydoyle’s battalion then he could show himself to be a superstar.
The six-furlong handicap (4.55pm) could be one for Mogwli. A previous course and distance winner, he could spring a bit of an upset if his mark has been taken low enough this summer.
The five-furlong handicap (5.25pm) rounds out the action from the Curragh and Harmony Rose seems to be finding a bit of confidence of late and is worth a shot. The expected quicker conditions should play to the filly’s strengths and with a workable weight can be there at the finish.