Siskin And Arizona Set for Phoenix Stakes Dual


Friday sees the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and it is set to be a cracker with two of the best Irish two year olds set to go to post with Aidan O'Brien's Arizona and Ger Lyons Siskin.

The juvenile contest will see the pairing face off for the first time in their careers and the odds are stacked in Arizona's favour with his trainer Aidan O'Brien winning 16 of the last 21 renewals of the Group 1 contest.

Horses like Johannesburg (2001), George Washington (2005), Holy Roman Emperor (2006), Mastercraftsman (2008) and Caravaggio (2016) among those on the roll of honour.

Apart from his trainers past record in the contest Arizona is rightfully at the head of the market after what he has done this season.

He started his campaign at the Curragh over six furlongs finishing a good second in a maiden, from there he got better and better, scoring by eight lengths in another maiden over course and distance.

He was then sent to Royal Ascot when he stepped his game up massively to warrant the backing in the market and show his true potential by landing the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot beating some good horses that day.

O'Brien also holds plenty of other entries in the contest with the stand out runners being the July Stakes winner Royal Lytham and Second in the Group 2 Railway Stakes Monarch Of Egypt.

The winner of that Group 2 was Ger Lyons Siskin who looks to be the real deal and will certainly be giving Arizona his toughest test to date.

The two year old is unbeaten in all three of his runs this season, starting his career at Naas and beating a stablemate of Arizona's who has since gone on to win and also put in some good performances behind other smart two year olds like Godolphin's Pinatubo.

Siskin's second start came over six furlongs a the Curragh in a Listed event, where again he saw off the O'Brien runners and was a class apart.

Without sounding like a broken record but In the Group 2 Railway Stakes he saw off the O'Brien runners again with ease and this juvenile looks one of the best of the season.

The battle between the two superstars looks set to be a classic but there are other parties that aren't letting these two just these two runners take the lime light.

Simon Crisford's A'Ali could still potentially run int he Phoenix Stakes and holds some serious form credentials heading into the contest off the back of winning the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Prix Robert Papin at Deauville.