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Beckford among intriguing early entries for Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes

May 18, 2017

The Curragh was the scene of Gordon Elliott’s first ever two-year-old winner when Beckford won last weekend and the renowned National Hunt trainer may well return to the same venue in search of his first ever Group 1 winner on the Flat after making two entries for the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes. 

A total of 80 entries have been made for the prestigious juvenile contest including a potential first ever Irish runner for American-based trainer Wesley Ward who has entered Fairyland for the race to take place on August 13th.  

Aidan O’Brien has won the race a record breaking 15 times and is responsible for 15 of the initial entries with some very notable inclusions. Dali, Declarationofpeace and Actress are all previous winners and are joined by the unraced Clemmie, who is a full sister to 2,000 Guineas winner Churchill, and Chariot, a full sister to 1,000 Guineas winner Winter. Joseph O’Brien, who won the race twice as a jockey for his father, could be represented by Dundalk winner True Blue Moon.  

“We have nine two-year-olds in total and Beckford and Monkeylou are my first entries in a Group 1 two-year-old race,” Elliott said. “Beckford was our first juvenile runner so it was nice that our first runner in a two-year-old maiden was a winner and the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes would have to be an option for him as he is a course and distance winner. A lot of water has to go under the bridge between now and then but it is a race that we’ll be considering. Our other entry Monkeylou is a nice colt as well and it would be great if we could have a runner in a race like that. We’ll see what happens.”  

Other interesting names on the list of entries are Ken Condon’s potential Royal Ascot candidates, Romanised and Mamba Noire, Jessica Harrington’s Brother Bear who was an impressive winner of his first start at Leopardstown, and there is a strong British representation including a trio of Charlie Appleby-trained winners, Aqabah, Gold Town and Last Voyage. 

Link to entries – HERE

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