A superb day’s racing is assured at the Curragh this Sunday, 12th August when the Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes is the featured event on a seven race programme. Dawn Approach winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot puts his unbeaten record on the line here and the Jim Bolger-trained star will face a maximum of 14 rivals in his bid to chalk up victory number five.
Aidan O’Brien has a tremendous record in this race and the Ballydoyle trainer can choose between Alfonso De Sousa, Cristoforo Colombo, Gale Force Ten, George Vancouver, Parliament Square and Pedro The Great. Probably, winner of the Group Two Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Railway Stakes here over Irish Derby weekend, has been supplemented to the race at a cost of €19,000, while recent Goodwood winners Bungle Inthejungle and Heavy Metal are the two British trained challengers in a fascinating contest.
The Group Two Keeneland Royal Whip Stakes is another fabulous contest and featured among the 15 entries are prolific winner Famous Name, last year’s Dubai
Duty Free Irish Derby hero Treasure Beach and Native Khan. Born To Sea and Light Heavy, second and third respectively behind Camelot in this year’s renewal of the Irish Derby, have also been left in the race, while Bible Belt, Tannery and the unbeaten Declaration Of War are other notable entries.
Local trainer John Oxx holds a strong hand in the Group Two Keeneland Debutante Stakes two unbeaten fillies in Harasiya and Sinaniya to choose from. They are two of the 15 fillies remaining in the seven furlong contest which has also attracted Diamond Sky, Magical Dream and three British-trained challengers in Discernable, Jillnextdoor and Savanna La Mar. The Group Three Patrick P. O’Leary Memorial Phoenix Sprint Stakes, meanwhile, has attracted an entry of 22, which includes two big names from the Aidan O’Brien stable in Excelebration and Starspangledbanner.
The first of seven races at the Curragh next Sunday commences at 2.20pm and the ground is currently yielding to soft.