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CONCERT HALL and Corviglia are the only previous winners contesting this 7 furlong conditions race and should fight out the finish under the returning Ryan Moore and Shane Foley. Aidan O’Brien’s filly appreciated the step-up in trip when winning over this distance at the Curragh last month and can continue her improvement to see off the Jessica Harrington-trained Leopardstown scorer. Cairde Go Deo and Livia Celeste should improve to challenge for a place, while any market support for newcomers History, Onameridance, Rancho Santa Fee and Tostal would be interesting to note.
The Phoenix Sprint Stakes looks very competitive and an absolute cracker with plenty in with chances over the 6 furlong trip in this Group 3 contest. The presence of Light Refrain by William Haggas adds an extra dimension with the Queen’s filly improving this season with victories at Nottingham and York. Power Under Me for Ger Lyons, Jo Murphy’s Gustavus Weston and Romantic Proposal for Eddie Lynam are others all on the shortlist.
However, I’m taking a chance with joint top-rated (108) A CASE OF YOU to bounce back to form for Adrian McGuinness and Ronan Whelan. The Lusk based trainer has decided to use a tongue-tie here following a tilt at the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot back in June. It’s been a good race for three-year-olds in recent seasons and following and nice victory in the Lacken Stakes in May, the son of Hot Streak can return from a break to challenge and go very close to victory.
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Go Bears Go is hoping to follow up his victory in the Railway Stakes by becoming just the third British trained winner of the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes since 1997. Princely Heir for Mark Johnston (1997) and Advertise for Martyn Meade (2018) are those two UK winners in a race which Aidan O’Brien has dominated and won a record 16 times. This year’s renewal doesn’t look the strongest in a season where the Master of Ballydoyle doesn’t have a standout two-year-old and saddles two runners at bigger prices.
The Railway Stakes form is always the best guide heading into this Group 1 and this year is no exception with Go Bears Go, Castle Star and Dr Zempf the leading contenders. David Loughnane’s runner clearly got the run of the race in the Railway with Castle Star always chasing having been waited patiently out the back by Chris Hayes. The jockey will have learned from that and will be much closer to Rossa Ryan to see CASTLE STAR use his electric turn of foot to strike in the closing furlong.
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