At The Races Phoenix Sprint Stakes (Curragh) Preview & Betting Tips – Sunday 13th August 2017

Plenty to look forward to this coming weekend, with top quality action on both Saturday and Sunday. It’s off to Ireland for the best of the Sunday fare, with this Group 3 contest featuring on an excellent card at the Curragh. Speed is the name of the game here, with the ground at the track currently riding good to firm. Here we take a look at the main contenders and pick out our best bet to show his rivals a clean pair of heels.

Race Analysis

The Irish challenge looks strong this year, including three representatives from the yard of Aidan O’Brien. Cougar Mountain would be something of a shock winner having produced his best efforts over further, but Intelligence Cross and Washington DC do look likely to go well. Often employed as a pacemaker, Intelligence Cross is nevertheless a good horse in his own right as shown in this season’s July Cup, but for us Washington DC is the more talented performer having placed at Group 1 level in the past. His form does seem to be tailing off a little though, and he didn’t look in love with the first-time blinkers last time out at Goodwood.

British trainers look to have a reasonable chance of success in the form of Kimbrella, Mr Lupton and Koropick. Koropick is the only previous Group winner of the trio, but Kimbrella looked extremely unlucky not to beat him in that Newcastle event and may prove the biggest threat to the home team.

Be it over fences or on the flat, Jessica Harrington is a trainer to be ignored at your peril and she sends out the three year old Khukri. A winner of a course and distance maiden, the son of Sepoy then took the step up to Listed level in his stride when scoring at Navan in April. He was no match for Caravaggio last time out in a Group 3 at Naas, but there is no real shame in that, and he will arrive here fresh and possibly improved on the back of an 84 day break.

There would be few more popular winners here than the Tom Hogan veteran, Gordon Lord Byron. Three times a winner at Group 1 level, he showed there is life in the old dog yet when claiming a Group 2 success over this course and distance in May of this year. To give 3lbs and a beating to the useful Only Mine rates as a pretty smart effort and he is no forlorn hope here.

The stats however are against him. At nine years of age, he would be the oldest horse ever to win this, with only five winners being older than five in the 39 renewals to date. 0 from 13 on good to firm, he may also need the rain to arrive. Son Of Rest is another who could come into contention should the ground come up soft on the day.

Betting Tips

In a competitive renewal, take a chance on the three year old Khukri. Open to more improvement than most and already boasting a smart level of form, he is taken to land another big race success for his astute handler.