timeform logo mini sign in to timeformSign In

register to timeformRegister
timeform menu collapse

Irish Preview: Beckford progression to continue in Phoenix

ArticleImage

We preview Sunday's Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh and expect Gordon Elliott to break Aidan O'Brien's stranglehold on the Group 1 contest.

Like many races of its ilk in Ireland, Sunday's Group 1 Phoenix Stakes has been dominated by Aidan O’Brien over the past two decades; he has saddled 15 winners since 1998, though only six were joint/top-rated. O’Brien has half of the eight-strong field for Sunday’s race, led by the Norfolk Stakes winner Sioux Nation. A big, good-bodied colt who won his maiden at Cork (by three and three quarter lengths from Yulong Warrior) in May, Sioux Nation was much improved when beating 16 rivals at Royal Ascot last time, holding on to win by half a length from Santry, but he will likely need to improve again back up in trip if he is to follow up (his Norfolk win is about 5 lb below the five year average for winning performances in this race).

The filly Actress gets 3 lb from her seven male rivals and she’s a major contender on weight-adjusted ratings. She was only sixth in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot but, after appearing to be outbattled over 5f at Tipperary in July, turned in a much improved performance to win the Group 3 Anglesey Stakes here nine days later. She is two from two at this track and is respected. Stablemates Declarationofpeace, who was last of 22 in the Windsor Castle Stakes when last seen but clearly wasn’t right (sent off the 13/8 favourite) and U S Navy Flag, runner-up in the July Stakes last time, both have a bit to find on form. It’s worth noting, though, that the latter’s sister Roly Poly kept on improving with racing/experience so a bold bid shouldn’t be discounted.

The ratings are topped by Beckford who looked Royal Ascot-bound after making a big impression when winning a 16-runner maiden at the Curragh in May by one and three quarter lengths from Red Persian, however plans for a trip across the Irish Sea were put on hold after the Bated Breath colt was sold by Nick Bradley Racing to Newtown Anner Stud Farm. Despite the form of his debut win working out well, Beckford was sent off at 11/2 for the Railway Stakes over C&D last month but took the step up in grade in his stride, supplying his jumps orientated yard with a first ever Group race success on the level and producing as good a performance as any two-year-old colt at that stage of the season (since usurped by Expert Eye, shown in table below). Open to further progress, he looks the one to beat.

Timeform best two year olds August 2017

The leading British challenger is the Tom Dascombe-trained Frozen Angel. A strong, well-made colt whose dam was a 5f winner at two, Frozen Angel won a minor event at Ascot (by three and a quarter lengths from Corinthia Knight) in May and, after finishing two and three quarter lengths fourth to Sioux Nation in the Norfolk, was a good half-length second to Unfortunately in the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Laffitte last time, only edged out close home. He should stay this 6f trip, but it does pose a new question.

The field is completed by Romanised (Ken Condon) and Helvetian (Mick Channon). Romanised, in a first-time tongue strap after eight weeks off, was found wanting for experience when two lengths seventh to Rajasinghe in the Coventry Stakes, but shaped well in the circumstances. He will stay 7f sooner rather than later, and is likely to progress further, so could run well at a price here despite having a bit to find on the figures. Helvetian was much sharper for his debut when winning an eight-runner maiden at Bath last week, but whilst he may do better still, this looks a tough ask.

TIMEFORM RACE CARD PDF DOWNLOADS

FREE DAILY RACE PASS

race pass logo

NAVAN 1:20

Sunday 17 December
7. DIAMOND CAUCHOIS (FR) 159
Davy Russell silk Davy Russell horse in focus
Gordon Elliott, Ireland
11. RACING PULSE (IRE) 158
D. J. Mullins silk D. J. Mullins
W. P. Mullins, Ireland hot trainer
8. DRUMACOO (IRE) 157+
Barry Geraghty silk Barry Geraghty
M. Hourigan, Ireland
NT
Go to Full Race

LATEST HORSE RACING RESULTS

9:15 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st B. A. Curtis silk 6. STAR QUALITY 40/141
2nd P. J. McDonald silk nk 4. PEACE TERMS (IRE) 6/42.5f
J: B. A. Curtis  
All 6 ran.
FULL RESULT

8:45 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st B. A. Curtis silk 7. TWIN APPEAL (IRE) 5/23.5f
2nd P. J. McDonald silk ¾ 10. SHEPHERD'S PURSE 12/113
3rd Martin Harley silk ½ 3. EXCHEQUER (IRE) 28/129
J: B. A. Curtis  
T: David Barron  
All 12 ran.
FULL RESULT

8:15 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st B. A. Curtis silk 3. SWIFT EMPEROR (IRE) 11/112
2nd Jack Garritty silk 11. ANDOK (IRE) 13/27.5
3rd P. J. McDonald silk 13. INFLUENT (IRE) 7/18
J: B. A. Curtis  
T: David Barron  
All 13 ran.
FULL RESULT

7:45 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st Fran Berry silk 10. DAILY TRADER 4/15
2nd Luke Morris silk 1 5. RAASHDY (IRE) 2/13f
3rd B. A. Curtis silk nk 3. DOLPHIN VILLAGE (IRE) 11/26.5
J: Fran Berry  
T: David Evans  
10 ran. NRs: 1  9 
FULL RESULT

7:15 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st Jack Duern silk 6. TROPICS (USA) 11/43.75f
2nd Franny Norton silk 7. RAJAR 17/29.5
3rd Fran Berry silk sh 1. SUZI'S CONNOISSEUR 15/28.5
J: Jack Duern (3)  
T: Dean Ivory  
All 9 ran.
FULL RESULT

6:45 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st Edward Greatrex silk 6. PULSATING (IRE) 5/42.25f
2nd Sam James silk 2. JORVIK PRINCE 8/19
3rd Luke Morris silk 1. MOSSY'S LODGE 11/112
11 ran. NRs: 13  9 
FULL RESULT

6:15 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st Luke Morris silk 4. HISAR (IRE) 2/13f
2nd Liam Keniry silk nk 7. FRANK THE BARBER (IRE) 12/113
3rd George Downing silk 13. NONEEDTOTELLME (IRE) 25/126
J: Luke Morris  
12 ran. NRs: 3 
FULL RESULT

5:45 WOLVERHAMPTON

1st Richard Kingscote silk 8. TY ROCK BRANDY (IRE) 7/24.5
2nd Fran Berry silk 1 4. LOS CAMACHOS (IRE) 8/19
3rd Sam James silk 6. IDEAL SPIRIT 40/141
All 8 ran.
FULL RESULT

4:35 NEWCASTLE

1st Ben Robinson silk 4. WINDFORPOWER (IRE) 5/16
2nd Jamie Gormley silk ½ 3. LITTLE MISS LOLA 14/115
3rd Phil Dennis silk ½ 9. FINTRY FLYER 12/113
J: Ben Robinson (5)  
All 11 ran.
FULL RESULT
Go to Horse Racing Results