Kimberella To Weather The Storm At The Curragh
The Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh this afternoon is a fascinating renewal of the Group 1 juvenile race and one that is going to throw up a story either way.
Could it be an incredible 16th win in the race for Aidan O’Brien, will it be a first Group 1 winner with his first runner for Gordon Elliott or could there be an upset with a first British winner in 20 years?
A First For Condon
Or possibly none of the above if Ken Condon can strike with his first Group 1 winner courtesy of Romanised. Condon’s charge was an impressive maiden winner and went to Royal Ascot on just his second start where he was slowly away in the Coventry Stakes yet finished well to be not beaten far.
Take away the advantage he gave them at the start and it could have been a whole different story and if building on that experience, Romanised could indeed be a big price for this contest.
Admittedly the form of his maiden victory hasn’t turned out to be anything spectacular but he could only beat what was in front of him that day and he is entitled to be still improving.
Beckford has done nothing wrong and is twice a course and distance winner who himself is still improving while Sioux Nation steps back up in trip after winning a Norfolk and has to be respected as the stable preference of Ballydoyle but some of his form is disappointing too.
At 8/1 in the hands of champion jockey Pat Smullen, Romanised is the one to take a punt with.
Kim To Back Up Quickly
The Phoenix Sprint Stakes is a interesting contest where the British-raider Kimberella is given the nod to make it a profitable week.
Richard Fahey’s seven-year-old has been running consistently well of late and got his just rewards at Chester last week and although this is a marked step up in class from that outing, Kimberella is picked to make it two wins in a week and record an eighth win over the trip.
Kimberella’s wins have come on varying ground over five and six furlongs so he won’t be inconvenienced by the rare enough quick Irish ground and…
in a wide open affair he gets the nod.
Local Winner For Hayden
John Hayden is one of Ireland’s veteran trainers but rarely leaves the Curragh season without recording a winner and Accalia looks to have the credentials to score in the apprentice handicap.
The four-year-old is having her fifth start of the season and is without a win since landing a Down Royal maiden last September but there was a lot to like about some of her earlier runs this year.
At the Curragh first time out she was only beaten by a length and half before a similar margin saw her finish second at Cork and although a big price in the Rockingham, she ran with credit before disappointing at Dundalk in hotter company last time.
This is a drop in class and Tom Madden knows her well and although Snowstar is a worthy favourite…
hopefully Accalia can put her best together to oblige.
Romanised (8/1) – 3.35 Curragh
Kimberella (6/1) – 4.10 Curragh
Accalia (13/2) – 4.40 Curragh
*Prices correct at time of publication.