The Wow Signal, Anthem Alexander, Dick Whittington, Beach Belle all likely runners
A fantastic renewal of the €200,000 Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes is in prospect at the Curragh on Sunday, August 10, with Royal Ascot winners The Wow Signal and Anthem Alexander set to be joined by many of this season’s best juveniles.
Anthem Alexander beat the high-class Tiggy Wiggy in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and her trainer, Eddie Lynam, is looking forward to stepping the winner up in trip to six furlongs in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, the first European Group 1 contest of 2014.
“We have been very happy with Anthem Alexander since Ascot and she will definitely take her chance in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes,” said Lynam. “I don’t think the extra furlong will be any problem to her at all.”
North Yorkshire handler John Quinn confirmed that The Wow Signal, a runaway winner of the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot for Sheikh Joaan Al Thani’s Al Shaqab Racing, is set to travel to the Curragh.
“I’ve spoken to (Al Shaqab racing manager) Harry Herbert and if the ground is nice at the Curragh then the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes is where we’ll go,” said Quinn. “He’s really well at home and has a great mind and a real appetite for work.”
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for 11 of the remaining 27 entries in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and among his potential runners are Saturday’s Group 3 Jebel Ali Racecourse & Stables Anglesey Stakes winner Dick Whittington, Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes heroine I Am Beautiful and dual-winning Keeneland graduate The Great War.
“At the moment Dick Whittington, The Great War and I Am Beautiful are the three horses we have up for consideration,” said O’Brien. “They are all in great form and the plan is to make a final decision nearer the time.”
Trainer Kevin Prendergast today confirmed that the unbeaten Beach Belle, winner of a Curragh maiden in March and a Listed contest at Naas last month, will also line up at the Curragh.
“She is a smashing filly and will take her chance in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes. She has plenty of speed and really saw out the six-furlong trip at Naas,” said Prendergast.
Three-time winner Cappella Sansevero, who changed hands for £1.3 million before finishing second in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes, is set to line up for trainer Ger Lyons and owner Qatar Racing.
“Cappella Sansevero is in really good form and the plan is to run in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes,” said Shane Lyons, assistant to his brother.
There is supplementary entry stage for the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at 12 noon on Tuesday, August 5.
The Phoenix Stakes is sponsored by Kentucky-based Keeneland, home to both the world’s largest thoroughbred sales company and one of America’s most beautiful racecourses, which will play host to the 2015 Breeders’ Cup.
Geoffrey Russell, Director of Sales at Keeneland, commented: “We are thrilled that so many of this season’s top juveniles are being aimed at the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes and it promises the standout two-year-old race of the season so far.”
Admission for families will be FREE at the Curragh on Sunday, August 10, courtesy of Keeneland and younger racegoers will be able to enjoy a variety of free entertainment in the Kids Zone.
Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager of the Curragh Racecourse, added: “We are very grateful to Keeneland for its proactive approach in working with us to ensure as many people as possible come to the Curragh to see what promises to be one of the racing highlights of our season.
“Previous winners of the Phoenix Stakes have included some of the very best juveniles in Europe since the race was first run in 1902 and this year will certainly be no exception.”
The first race is at 2.35pm. Admission: 15 euros. Under 25s and Seniors: 8 euros. Families and Under 16s FREE.
Free car parking. Irish Rail service to Kildare Town with free shuttle to racecourse. Dublin Coach also provide race day service (see www.dublincoach.ie)