Keeneland Phoenix Stakes Guide 2021

Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
5(2)
Rossa Ryan

Go Bears Go

J:
 
Rossa Ryan
T:
 
David Loughnane
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 111
Days: 43

David Loughnane's last trip across the Irish Sea to the Curragh with entrant Go Bears Go was a great success given he landed the Group 2 Railway Stakes over C&D on just his 3rd career start.

The son of Kodi Bear beat re-opposing rivals Castle Star and Dr Zempf that day and very much sets the standard in the race based off that run.

The run also marked a successful step up from the 5f trip after a debut win on soft in a class 3 prior to going down by a mere head in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Ascot upon good to firm and he's now entitled to progress once more on his second run over 6f.

The Railway Stakes arguably panned out better for him than his re-opposing rivals, however he remains the one to beat with the in-form Rossa Ryan retained in the saddle.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/21NMK7Gd9-17
25/09/21NMK6GF9-04
08/08/21CUR6Y9-53
26/06/21CUR6Gd9-51
17/06/21ASC5GF9-12
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
2(1)
Chris Hayes

Castle Star

J:
 
Chris Hayes
T:
 
J A Stack
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 108
Days: 43

Castle Star is clearly a progressive type having stepped up from his opening two runner-up efforts in maidens to comfortably land listed spoils on his third career start.

The son of Starspangledbanner then subsequently showed a good turn of foot to quicken clear in the final furlong to go 2 lengths clear in the Group 3 Marble Hill over C&D next time out.

The runner was however slow into stride last time out in the Railway Stakes when finishing 1 1/4 lengths behind Go Bears Go and possibly left himself too much to do as a result of that.

He'll be sure to appreciate rain more than most in the race with a liking shown to slower ground and his current course form of 2112 reads well for his chances.

A smaller field may just help him in positioning closer to the pace from the off and that brings him right into the equation for reversing that last time out form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/08/21CUR6Y9-54
26/06/21CUR6Gd9-52
22/05/21CUR6Sft/Hy9-51
03/05/21CUR5Y9-51
17/04/21CUR6Gd9-72
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
3(8)
Colin Keane

Dr Zempf

J:
 
Colin Keane
T:
 
G M Lyons
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 103
Days: 43

The combination of Ger Lyons and current reigning Irish flat champion jockey, Colin Keane, won this race in 2019 with Siskin and will have high hopes for this years contender, Dr Zempf.

An impressive winner on debut over C&D upon yielding ground, Dr Zempf went off a well backed favourite for the Group 2 Railway Stakes on just his 2nd career start.

The son of Dark Angel was however hampered at an important stage of the race and therefore cost him a 4th placed finish, 2 1/2 lengths off the pace of eventual winner Go Bears Go.

The 420,000 guineas purchase as a yearling will of learnt a lot from the run and is somewhat entitled to more improvement than his market rivals given he's less exposed on what will be just his 3rd career start.

The return to softer ground should suit and if given a better run in this smaller field, he should be very much involved at the finish.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/08/21CUR6Y9-52
26/06/21CUR6Gd9-54
02/06/21CUR6Y9-41
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
4(5)
Shane Foley

Ebro River

J:
 
Shane Foley
T:
 
Hugo Palmer
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 104
Days: 10

Hugo Palmer makes the trip across the Irish Sea in great form, operating at a 26% strike rate across the last 14 days and arrives at the Curragh sporting entrant, Ebro River.

Ebro River was a listed winner on his third career start over 5f upon soft ground at Sandown, although has shown versatility groundwise having performed respectably upon good to firm on 2 of his last 3 runs.

The son of Galileo Gold's form at Group 2 standard the last 3 races have been solid attempts with form of 544 now at that level, including finishing just a length off the eventual winner Assymetric in the Richmond last time out at Goodwood.

Having said this, he will need to now take another step forward in order to land a blow at Group 1 level, easier said than done given he is more exposed than the majority of his rivals.

Being unplaced over 6f across his last 3 runs also poses question marks over his suitability to the trip.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/09/21CUR7Gd9-53
08/08/21CUR6Y9-51
29/07/21GOO6GS9-04
08/07/21NMK6GF9-04
15/06/21ASC6GF9-15
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
9(3)
Ryan Moore

Prettiest

J:
 
Ryan Moore
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-2
OR: 100
Days: 17

Aidan O'Brien is a 16 time winner of the Phoenix Stakes and his entrant, Prettiest, looks a solid each way proposition for the affair.

The daughter of Dubawi is taking on the boys for the first time here and was a strong finisher on debut to land her maiden over 5.5f at Navan.

She subsequently stepped up for a 4th placed finish in the Group 3 Albany Stakes (6f) at Ascot upon heavy ground, a piece of form that looks relatively strong given what her opposition that day have gone on to achieve since, however her effort up at 7f in a Leopardstown Group 3 was disappointing, especially given she was a well backed odds on favourite for the affair.

The drop back to 6f looks sure to suit and she's very much entitled to take another step forward here and progress despite the raise in class.

Ryan Moore is retained on board and she may just outrun her odds.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/09/21CUR7Gd9-27
08/08/21CUR6Y9-27
22/07/21LEO7Gd9-24
18/06/21ASC6Hy9-04
30/05/21NAV5.5Y9-21
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
8(7)
Leigh Roche

Twilight Jet

J:
 
Leigh Roche
T:
 
M D O'Callaghan
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 100
Days: 43

Michael O'Callaghan's entrant, Twilight Jet, improved massively for the switch from soft/heavy conditions in his opening two runs to faster ground across his next three efforts.

The son of Twilight Son stepped up on his maiden win over 5f at Tipperary to finish a respectable 7th in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Ascot next time out, around 2 1/2 lengths behind re-opposing rival Go Bears Go.

The £210,000 2yo purchase was subsequently the 5th placed finisher behind the Go Bears Go, Castle Star, Dr Zempf trio in the Railway Stakes last time out and despite improvement looking likely, he still has plenty to find in order to get on terms with those rivals.

Forecasted rain also looks to count against his chances in this.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/10/21NMK5GS9-11
25/09/21NMK6GF9-05
11/09/21DON7GS9-03
20/08/21YOR6GF9-03
08/08/21CUR6Y9-56
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
7(6)
Seamie Heffernan

The Entertainer

J:
 
Seamie Heffernan
T:
 
A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 98
Days: 22

Aidan O'Brien's second race entrant, The Entertainer, made a hugely likeable start to his career in the form of a comfortable debut win over 5.5f at Navan.

Soft ground and a quick 7 day turnaround appeared to get the better of him next time out in the Group 3 Marble Hill Stakes when finishing 6th behind re-opposing trio Castle Star, Strapped and Twilight Jet however and a 9th placed finish in the Railway Stakes behind a number of these rivals ultimately looks to hold him on these terms.

Despite stepping up on those efforts with a good run in the Anglesey Stakes last time out, he will need to take a huge step forward to be involved and still looks to have plenty to find on those at the top of the market.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
20/09/21FAI6GF9-54
27/08/21CUR6Gd9-59
21/08/21CUR7Sft9-56
08/08/21CUR6Y9-58
17/07/21CUR6.5Gd9-54
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
6(9)
Kevin Manning

Strapped

J:
 
Kevin Manning
T:
 
J S Bolger
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 99
Days: 43

Jim Bolgers colt, Strapped, made significant progress from a 6th placed debut finish on the all weather to comfortably break his maiden tag next time out at Cork over the 5f trip.

The son of Dawn Approach ran well in the Marble Stakes for a 3rd placed finish however a 2 3/4 length beating by the winner that day, Castle Star, could have possibly been much further given the ease of that victory for the runner.

A 13th placed finish in the Railway Stakes last time out behind a number of todays rivals was a below form effort, however despite this, looks to have too much to find here.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/08/21CUR5Gd9-50
08/08/21CUR6Y9-55
26/06/21CUR6Gd9-50
22/05/21CUR6Sft/Hy9-53
07/05/21COR5Gd9-01
Curragh - August 07 2021
Curragh 15:10
1(4)

Arges

J:
 
T:
 
John Joseph Murphy
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 76
Days: 4

A maiden after 7 runs, Arges looks exposed here and is turned out quickly after going down by 1 3/4 lengths midweek at Sligo when going off as favourite for the contest.

The son of Fast Company looks well out of his depth and would be a huge shock winner given the level of his past form shown.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/08/21NAV5Gd9-29
13/08/21CUR5Gd9-59
04/08/21SLI5.5Y9-42
02/08/21NAA6Gd9-22
26/06/21CUR6Gd9-50
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