Little Big Bear and Bradsell set for clash

Windsor Castle and impressive Anglesey Stakes winner Little Big Bear will face five rivals, including a mouthwatering clash with Coventry Stakes winner Bradsell, in Saturday’s Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt heads the betting and is a 6-4 shot with most firms as he bids for a fourth win in five starts, as well as giving his trainer his 17th success in the €300,000 race. He is also represented by recent Prix Robert Papin winner Blackbeard.

There will be a strong British challenge in the six-runner field, headlined by the Archie Watson-trained Bradsell, who built on his impressive debut at York to land Royal Ascot’s most prestigious two-year-old contest, and Hollie Doyle again takes the ride.

Bradsell and Holly Doyle return after winning the Coventry Stakes, photo Liesl King

Bradsell got the better of the Richard Hannon-trained Persian Force in the Coventry, but the latter bounced back with a ready success in the July Stakes, and Rossa Ryan will continue his partnership with him in Saturday’s sprint. 

Railway Stakes winner Shartash and Joseph O’Brien’s Apache Outlaw complete the six-runner field.

Phoenix Stakes final field
Apache Outlaw Declan McDonagh
Blackbeard Seamie Heffernan
Bradsell Hollie Doyle
Little Big Bear Ryan Moore
Persian Force Rossa Ryan
Shartash Ben Coen

Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (4.15 Curragh, Saturday)

Paddy Power: 15-8 Little Big Bear, 9-4 Bradsell, 4 Blackbeard, 9-2 Persian Force, 11 Shartash, 40 Apache Outlaw