Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 13 December 2018

'Sergei' can advertise Guineas prospects in Phoenix

Frankie Dettori. Photo: Reuters
Frankie Dettori. Photo: Reuters
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

It's a massive few days for Irish racing with a host of challengers set for France and America in pursuit of lucrative prizes, but the action on these shores commands respect.

All eyes will be on the Curragh tomorrow with Frankie Dettori making a rare trip to the Kildare track to partner Martyn Meade's comfortable July Stakes winner Advertise in the Group One Phoenix Stakes (3.35).

Currently second favourite behind John Gosden's Calyx - which had a length to spare on him in Royal Ascot's Coventry Stakes - for next year's English 2000 Guineas, he has done little wrong in his three runs.

Aidan O'Brien's Sergei Prokofiev was third behind him at Ascot - beaten by a neck - and the two renew acquaintances in a race the Ballydoyle maestro has dominated winning eight of the last ten runnings.

It looks like a duel between the pair but, with O'Brien also saddling another three contenders of the sextet, it may play to the strengths of SERGEI PROKOFIEV and Ryan Moore can steer him home in front.

The Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes (4.10) is more of a puzzler.

Johnny Murtagh's Urban Beat is of interest on just his fourth racecourse appearance and is open to improvement having taken a decent handicap at the Kildare track in May.

Joseph O'Brien's progressive SPEAK IN COLOURS looks the one, however. Disregarding a poor run in the highest level in the Commonwealth Cup, his recent Group Three gives him an outstanding chance.

At Cork today, the Group Three Give Thanks Stakes (3.0) looks to be another winning opportunity for Jim Bolger's TURRET ROCKS.

The trip is a bit of an unknown as the five-year-old mare's previous three runs over 1m4f were two years ago at Group One level in the Epsom, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks, but she was doing her best work at the finish when collaring O'Brien's Deauville in a Leopardstown Group Three.

Deauville runs in the Grade One Arlington Million (12.08) in Chicago tonight so that says a lot about Turret Rock's credentials and she looks the class horse in a field of six.

Willie McCreery's Bloomfield is a potential improver following a decent second in the Group Three Munster Oaks at the track in June, while the drop down to 12 furlongs might not play to the strengths of O'Brien's Sizzling.

The earlier Listed Goffs Platinum Stakes (2.25) could go the way of Michael Mulvany's ON THE GO AGAIN following a good showing over hurdles at the Galway Festival last week.

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