Advertise rises to the occasion in Phoenix Stakes as Meade's faith is justified

Martyn Meade's huge belief in Advertise was vindicated at the Curragh on Sunday, when the classy juvenile provided the trainer with Group 1 glory in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.

Advertise, photo Liesl King

Ridden by Frankie Dettori, the July Stakes winner returned at 11-10  favourite, with 7-1 shot So Perfect second and The Irish Rover third at 12-1.

Sergei Prokofiev, the 7-4 second favourite who had finished a neck behind Advertise when they were second and third behind Calyx in the Coventry Stakes, finished last of the five runners after racing very keenly.

After Advertise had scored by half a length Meade said: "I was quite bullish about him during the week and luckily it's paid off. Otherwise I'd have had to eat my words.

"A step up to seven furlongs is the plan after he has a break. He could go for the Dewhurst as that would look a logical step. Frankie gave him a great ride. He said to me after he won the July Stakes on Advertise that we could go wherever we wanted with the horse."

The success continued Meade's fine season after his move to Manton from Newmarket in the spring. It also halted the Phoenix domination of Aidan O'Brien, who was, remarkably, seeking a 17th victory in a race worth €250,000, with €142,50 of the pie going to winning connections.

Advertise, who runs in the colours of the aptly named Phoenix Thoroughbreds, was cut by a few firms for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas, with Betway going 8-1 (from 10). However, some bookmakers left the colt unchanged, and Sky Bet still offered 14-1.

George Washington was the last horse to win the Phoenix (2005) and follow up in the Newmarket Classic, while Mastercraftsman landed the Irish 2,000 Guineas in 2009 after winning the Phoenix.

The previous British winner of the race had come 21 years ago, when Princely Heir, ridden by Jason Weaver, scored for Mark Johnston.

Dettori, whose only previous win in the race was on Pips Pride for Richard Hannon snr at Leopardstown in 1992, said: "We didn't go hard early on and I was surprised there wasn't enough pace. I had Advertise more forward than I did at Newmarket.

"I knew he stayed well so I kicked pretty early. I had a little bit of a fright when the others challenged me, but he had plenty left. He probably needs to step up to seven furlongs and has a great temperament; he really wants to do it for you.

"I can't say any bad words about him, and the Dewhurst could be next. He's very uncomplicated and very tough, and he's very brave too."

So Perfect fared best of Ballydoyle's three runners and finished half a length in front of stablemate The Irish Rover.