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O’Brien Looks To Add To Amazing Record Today

Gr1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes - The Curragh at 17h15

Aidan O’Brien has entered two colts – Little Big Bear and Blackbeard in the Gr1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh today (17h15).

If successful, not only will O’Brien secure the €177,000 first prize for connections but will have won this prestigious juvenile contest for a record 17th time.

Retained jockey Ryan Moore rides Little Black Bear which looks significant as has ridden both horses previously and won on both.

Little Big Bear looks very progressive (Pic – Ballydoyle)

Little Big Bear does look the more progressive having won three of his four starts. He was a taking winner of his penultimate start at Royal Ascot in the listed Windsor Castle.

Showing plenty of natural speed that day, the son of No Nay Never stayed on well at the finish to deny the well-regarded Rocket Rodney by a neck. The form of that race looks strong and he then went on to land the Gr3 Anglesey in dominant fashion here three weeks ago. He will appreciate the drying ground.

There are two English raiders in the field of six and they look the biggest dangers to O’Brien’s stranglehold of this Group 1.

Richard Hannon has had a great run with his juveniles this term and he sends Persian Force across the Irish Sea. The Mehmas juvenile has also won three from four and was impressive when winning the Gr2 July Stakes at Newmarket on fast ground last month.

He was runner-up to Bradsell in the Gr2 Coventry over six furlongs at the Royal Ascot meeting when midfield in a large field before finishing well.

The winner, an unbeaten son of Tasleet, was well on top at the line and the form of that race was boosted with not only Persian Force scoring next time out but Royal Scotsman, a neck behind in third, subsequently landed the Gr2 Richmond Stakes in great style at Glorious Goodwood last week.

Power Under Me travelled powerfully when third here last month and this course and distance winner is selected in the Gr3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes over 6 furlongs (16h15). The Ger Lyons trained and Colin Keane ridden four-year-old should prevail from another course and distance scorer Go Bears Go, the highest rated runner in the field.

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