Filly Fest To Continue Through Anthem Alexander
Sunday’s big meeting at the Curragh has been blessed with two outstanding Group sprints – the main attraction being the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes for juveniles (4.05).
This informative event has been won by the likes of George Washington and Holy Roman Emperor down the years, both of which were trained by Aidan O’Brien, who has bagged six of the last 10 renewals.
This year’s renewal sees O’Brien well represented once more, although the overall feeling is that he may not be holding the aces.
While Dick Whittington (4/1) is no slouch having won a Group 3 over this C&D last month (good to firm), he will have to step up in dealing with several top performers, as will both The Great War (unplaced in two Group 2’s the last twice) and War Envoy (beaten almost 4l by Kool Kompany over C&D in June).
O’Brien also has I Am Beautiful, who opened her account at the third time of asking in a Group 3 over C&D last time. This will be a step up in class, but of the Ballydoyle quartet, I Am Beautiful, is the one who has enough scope to progress at this level.
Fillies v Colts
Standing in O’Brien’s way is the 6/4 market leader, Anthem Alexander, who arrives having won her last two outings – the second of which a Group 2 at Royal Ascot (5f, good to firm). Edward Lynam’s filly got home by a neck from Tiggy Wiggy on that occasion, leaving her trainer to state that there was more to come.
It’s also worth noting that fillies (3-13, 23%) struck at a better rate than males (7-53, 13%) in this race down the last 10 years,
…though Richard Hannon’s Kool Kompany (5/2) will be looking to improve the record for colts.
Beaten just once on six outings, which came in a Group 2 at Royal Ascot (6f, good) when racing too freely, this colt made up for that sole defeat by winning two subsequent Group 2’s, including over this C&D (good to firm).
A further victory in France on soft ground three weeks ago showed Kool Kompany’s versatility, and such a success last time proved a good sign in this race as last time out winners were 7-27 (26%), compared to those who were only 2nd, 3rd or 4th last time at 2-28 (7%).
Covering the last 10 Phoenix winners…
Females 3-13 (23%) +£49 – males 7-53 (13%)
American bred (USA) 3-10 (30%); Irish 7-49 (14%)
7f last time 3-10 (30%); 6f last time 6-36 (17%)
1st last time 7-27 (26%); 2nd, 3rd or 4th last time 2-28 (7%)
16-45 days last time out 9-41 (22%); others 1-25
Aidan O’Brien 6-23, 5 others placed
Beach Belle also fits the ideal profile being a last time out winning filly who came home strongly to land a Listed race at Naas 69 days ago (6f, yielding). Her trainer, Kevin Prendergast, stated she would come here instead of Royal Ascot to avoid fast ground, and the recent rain is definitely in her favour, hence why money has arrived for here throughout the week.
Although Aidan O’Brien has such a good record in this, it could be worth siding with the classy, Anthem Alexander, who will look to emulate Damson in 2004, who won the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot before following-up here.