With no local features carded this weekend, the focus will be on the Curragh where Donnacha O’Brien is confident his filly Porta Fortuna can defeat six colts in Saturday’s Gr1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes(17h40).
Having won a Curragh maiden and a Group 3 at Naas in the spring, the daughter of Caravaggio completed her hat-trick in the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting.
Connections had the option of keeping her against her own sex in the Lowther at York later this month, but O’Brien is happy to take on the boys and possible Group One glory.
Oisin Murphy takes the ride aboard Porta Fortuna in the six-furlong contest, as she bids to become the first filly to win this race since 2011.
Aidan O’Brien saddles Railway Stakes second and third Unquestionable and His Majesty in his attempt to record a remarkable 18th Phoenix Stakes success.
Ryan Moore sides with course and distance winner Unquestionable, who he subsequently rode in the Railway Stakes last month. The Wootton Bassett colt was beaten a short head on that occasion by the re-opposing Coventry third, Bucanero Fuerte and there shouldn’t be much between them again on Saturday.
Also on Saturday afternoon, six competitive handicaps at Ascot racecourse will determine which team wins the 2023 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
The action gets underway at 14h35, and the standout on a competitive card is the William Haggas-trained La Yakel who runs in the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Challenge (Handicap). 10 runners jump away from the mile and a half start (15h45) with the Andrew Balding trained Scampi favourite with Saffie Osborne aboard. Stable companion to the selection Pride Of Priory, the mount of Frankie Dettori, is also very much in the mix.
However, La Yakel looks to be ahead of the handicapper, and shaped with plenty of promise on his return over course and distance last month.
He’s a big, strong colt with plenty of potential and had the 106 rated First Ruler a length behind him when victorious here last season.
Running here off a mark of 95, La Yakel can provide Joao ‘Magic Man’ Moreira with another victory at this famous racecourse.
The off-times on Saturday: