Keeneland Phoenix Stakes Betting Tips
We get a glimpse into the future of racing at the Curragh this weekend. The Keeneland Phoenix Stakes gives some of the most promising flat horses around the chance to shine and over the years some high-quality sprinters have set the pulses racing in this Group 1 race.
Last year’s winner, Caravaggio, has gone on to big things as a three-year-old and connections of all those taking part on Sunday will be hoping against hope that their charge can kick on like he has.
Top Betting Tips
There is no runaway favourite for this year’s Phoenix Stakes. The bookies have made the Gordon Elliott trained, Beckford, the favourite at best odds of 5/4 with Betfair but he is no sure thing like Caravaggio was.
Sunday’s race will be just the third of Beckford’s career but there has to be something special about this horse for Elliott to have entered him in the Phoenix Stakes.
Elliott is known for training the winner of both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National, not for juvenile sprinters but Beckford has already won twice over course and distance. Beckford will likely need a fast pace to be at his best but he does look a worthy favourite.
As a 16 time winner of this race, Aidan O’Brien is always one to follow for this race and his chances are headed by Sioux Nation on Sunday.
The American bred colt has already run five times this season including at the Curragh where he finished a sixth of seven.
That shouldn’t put you off too much though as he bounced straight back to win at Ascot, albeit over five furlongs. Another who would enjoy a fast gallop, Sioux Nation has strong each-way appeal at 6/1 with William Hill.
The Phoenix Stakes is run over six furlongs and is open only to two-year-old colts and fillies.
It was first run way back in 1902 when it was held at Phoenix Park. When Phoenix Park was closed in 1990, the race was moved to Leopardstown before finding a new home at the Curragh in 2002.
A Group 1 since 1979, the Phoenix Stakes has been dominated by Aidan O’Brien. He has trained seven of the last 10 winners and has another strong hand in this year’s renewal.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Caravaggio, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, trained by Aiden O’Brien
2015 – Air Force Blue, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, trained by Aiden O’Brien
2014 – Dick Whittington, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, trained by Aiden O’Brien
2013 – Sudirman, ridden by Wayne Lordan, trained by David Wachman
2012 – Pedro The Great, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, trained by Aidan O’Brien
Key Trends to Consider
Caravaggio’s win in the Phoenix Stakes last year was his final appearance as a juvenile. When he turned up to the Curragh we weren’t entirely sure how good a sprinter he would turn out to be but he had certainly already shown promise.
He won all three of his starts before the Phoenix Stakes and previous winning form is a very big plus when picking a winner for the Phoenix Stakes. Special attention should be paid to horses who have got the job done over six furlongs.
At this age, there is a very little form to go on and those shrewd punters who are in the know believe that they have an edge over the market. However, it’s worth pointing out that Caravaggio (who went off at 1/8) was the first favourite to win the Phoenix Stakes since Alfred Noble in 2009.