Keeneland Phoenix Stakes – The Trends

Race Time3.50pm MeetingCurragh
Distance: 6f
Full Race Name Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Group 1)

Keeneland Phoenix Stakes – Key Trends

Some key trends have appeared in the Phoenix Stakes over the last 10 years and are worth focussing on:

  • 10 out of the last 10 winners had had 2 to 5 previous starts
  • 9 out of the last 10 winners had won over 6f
  • 8 out of the last 10 winners won their maiden at the Curragh or Leopardstown
  • 7 out of the last 10 winners won last time out

Five of the eight runners have had 2 to 5 starts with the exceptions being Buratino, Sixth Sense and Zebstar. From these five only four have won over 6f, Washington DC having so far run exclusively over 5f including when successful last time out at Royal Ascot. The remaining four of Air Force Blue, Painted Cliffs, Rockaway Valley and Most Beautiful all won their maiden at either the Curragh or Leopardstown with the exception of Most Beautiful who’s maiden success came at Navan. This leaves three horses to focus on and with only one of these remaining three having won last time out, the trends point to Painted Cliffs as being the horse to back in the Phoenix.

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Down the field on his racecourse debut, Painted Cliffs has since put in two excellent performances to win his maiden at Leopardstown in mid June before winning the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh, with Rockaway Valley finishing second that day. Ridden by Ryan Moore that day, Painted Cliffs took it up two furlongs out and pulled away in the final furlong to record an impressive two and three quarter length victory. The winner of the Railway Stakes have a good record in the Phoenix stakes, with previous Aidan O’Brien horses such as George Washington and Holy Roman Emperor, taking that route before winning the Phoenix. With such a phenomenal record in the race, Painted Cliffs looks likely to add to O’Brien’s dominance.

Keeneland Stakes Race Preview

Sunday sees the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes taking place at the Curragh. Run over 6f, the Phoenix Stakes is a Group 1 contest exclusively for two-year-old colts and fillies. In recent years, the race has been dominated by Irish Champion Trainer Aidan O’Brien, who has trained 13 out of the last 17 winners and he is again well represented this year with Air Force Blue, Painted Cliffs and Washington DC all set to feature.

A total of eight runners are due to go post with the Mark Johnston trained Buratino the current ante-post favourite. An impressive winner at Royal Ascot last time out, Buratino is aiming to be the first foreign trained winner of the Phoenix since 1997, when Johnston himself trained the winner, Princely Heir. Irish trained horses have dominated the Phoenix and with five of the eight runners trained in Ireland this trend looks set to continue.

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