Aidan O'Brien has the Force in Phoenix again
AIDAN O'BRIEN extended his incredible record in the Group One Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh when Air Force Blue powered home under his son Joseph to land the €250,000 contest.
O'Brien signalled his intent to win the race for a 14th time when declaring Royal Ascot winner Washington DC alongside Railway Stakes winner Painted Cliffs but on just his third start it was Air Force Blue, who is aptly a graduate of the sponsors sale, that reversed the Coventry Stakes form with Buratino and ran out a two-length winner from his stable companion Washington DC.
The winning trainer was understandably impressed by the performance as Mark Johnston's Buratino finished back in third.
"He came forward lovely from Royal Ascot and he was just a baby going there. You'd have to be very impressed with him and he quickened up very well," said the master of Ballydoyle. "His options are probably to go to the Prix Morny or maybe have a little rest again but he has plenty of speed and galloped out to the line very well. The second and third are Royal Ascot winners so you'd have to be delighted."
O'Brien earlier introduced How High The Moon, a full-sister to Group One winner Diamondsandrubies to win the Loder Fillies Race on her racecourse debut.
O'Brien also revealed that a dry week at Deauville may mean the reappearance of Gleneagles in the Prix Jacques Le Marois next Sunday.
The Qatar Racing Club Phoenix Sprint Stakes went for export as the Tim Easterby-trained Mattmu got the better of an extended battle with Toscanini to give jockey David Allan a first Curragh winner.