The feature race of the day on Saturday has to be the Group 1 Keeneland Pheonix Stakes at the Curragh and it is shaping up to be an absolute belter. Some of the best juvenile sprinters around will take each other on over 6f at 4.15pm and it is great to see a British challenge over once again. Adrian Wall is here with his verdict for the race and it can be watched live on ITV Racing.
The British have had good success in this race in recent years. Martyn Meade became the first British trainer since 1997 to win the race with Advertise in 2018, and last year Hugo Palmer was successful with Ebro River. It is fantastic when British raiders come across to Ireland for a big race and we need to see it happen more often.
Acrhie Watson’s Bradsell heads the betting after beating Persian Force in the Coventry Stakes when last seen. I’m not so sure Persian Force should be the price he is here though as Bradsell had a better draw on the day. Never mind that pair though as I think this race is at Aidan O’Brien’s mercy yet again.
O’Brien has won this race 16 times since 1998 and I think he will do so again with Little Big Bear, who is a surprisingly decent price at about 11/4. The Windsor Castle winner produced a career best when destroying the field in a Group 3 over course and distance last month and he could dominate proceedings from the front again here. He should have the advantage over his rivals tactically as it is a small field.
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