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Thursday 19 October 2017

Ascot winners in head to head

Dick Whittington, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Jebel Ali Racecourse & Stables Anglesey Stakes. Picture: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE
Dick Whittington, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Jebel Ali Racecourse & Stables Anglesey Stakes. Picture: Matt Browne/SPORTSFILE

ROYAL ASCOT winners The Wow Signal and Anthem Alexander are on a collision course for the €200,000 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on August 10.

The latter is set to step back up to six f urlongs after she defeated subsequent impressive Weatherbys Super Sprint scorer Tiggy Wiggy in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Her trainer Eddie Lynam has no qualms about going up a furlong with the daughter of Starspangledbanner.

"We have been very happy with Anthem Alexander since Ascot and she will definitely take her chance in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes," said the County Meath handler.

"I don't think the extra furlong will be any problem to her at all."

The Wow Signal is proven over the distance, having lifted the Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting, and his trainer John Quinn expects the colt, also by Starspangledbanner, to take his chance, as long as connections are happy with ground conditions.

"I've spoken to (Al Shaqab racing manager) Harry Herbert and if the ground is nice at the Curragh then the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes is where we'll go," said the North Yorkshire handler.

"He's really well at home and has a great mind and a real appetite for work."

Cappella Sansevero, who changed hands for £1.3million before finishing second to The Wow Signal in the Coventry, is set to line up for trainer Ger Lyons.

"Cappella Sansevero is in really good form and the plan is to run in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes," said the trainer's brother and assistant, Shane.

Aidan O'Brien is responsible for 11 of the remaining 27 entries and among his potential runners are Anglesey Stakes winner Dick Whittington, Grangecon Stud Stakes victor I Am Beautiful and two-times scorer The Great War.

Form

"At the moment, Dick Whittington, The Great War and I Am Beautiful are the three horses we have up for consideration," said O'Brien.

"They are all in great form and the plan is to make a final decision nearer the time."

Trainer Kevin Prendergast is also keen to give Beach Belle, unbeaten in both her starts, the chance of Group One glory.

"She is a smashing filly and will take her chance in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.

"She has plenty of speed and really saw out the six-furlong trip at Naas well," said the County Kildare handler.

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