| 15.2°C Dublin

Forecast favours nice trip to Beach

Sunday's highlight at the Curragh is the Group One Phoenix Stakes which is a race that I can look back on fondly as can Aidan O'Brien who has really farmed it over the last decade and a half.

We won the race with some champions over the years and while it's hard to pick one over the other and maybe even unfair to do so, but I would say Johannesburg deserves special recognition.

As a two-year-old he was able to handle any type of ground. He could win with an ease in the ground, he could win on quick ground and he also went to America and won the dirt - he was a special racehorse.

As dominant as Aidan has been in the race, I'm not sure he will be winning Sunday's renewal as The Great War has probably failed to live up to expectations from earlier in the season and Dick Whittington may just have a bit to find on some of the others.


A runner I think could prove to be a bit of value and a danger to everybody is Kevin Prendergast's Beach Belle. I think if the rain that is forecast develops Beach Belle is very good each-way value and she is a filly I like.

You could never question Kevin Prendergast's ability to train a horse and that has stood the test of time.

It's great to see him with another potentially high class filly and it will keep him young!

I can assure you he is still a hard man to beat to the first of the gallops on the Curragh on a Tuesday and Friday.

Kool Kompany won well in France since his Railway Stakes victory at the Curragh and he is by the sire Jeremy, so he won't be adverse to a bit of an ease in the ground either - don't rule him out.

I think Ballydoyle could win the Phoenix Sprint, though, as in Darwin and Cougar Mountain they have real good chances.

Maarek is a very consistent horse but Aidan's Darwin ran the race of his life behind Kingman last week and Cougar Mountain was an eye-catcher on just his second start in the July Cup.