Phoenix Stakes Betting Tips – Steel Bull Appeals Most in Curragh Group 1 Sprint

Curragh Betting Tips · Sunday, 09th Aug 2020 - 15:10

Unbeaten colt a worthy favourite for juvenile feature

Having won both his starts in the style of a well-above average sort, Steel Bull is a strong fancy to take the step up into Group 1 company in his stride and land the spoils in the 6f Phoenix Stakes for juveniles at the Curragh on Sunday (15:10).

This Michael O’Callaghan trained colt was well-backed when scoring on debut in a 12-runner maiden over 5f at Naas and got the job done in good style.

After dwelling at the start, Steel Bull showed good pace to chase the leaders before taking up the running a furlong from home and only needed pushing out to beat Dense Star by 2 1/2 lengths.

The son of Clodovil was value for more than the winning margin. It was a taking display which marked him out as one to keep onside. That view was confirmed when he landed the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes over 5f at Glorious Goodwood.

Steel Bull was held-up off the paec travelling strongly under a confident Colin Keane and when asked to make a move showed a smart turn of foot to beat Ben Macdui by just under a length.

He hit the line hard and won going away, suggesting that the extra furlong he tackles in the Phoenix Stakes would be right up his street.

Steel Bull clearly has a big engine and a potent turn of foot. His handler has made secret of the high regard in which he is held.

This is a much deeper race than the Molecomb, but the manner in which he scored there suggests that Steel Bull would be well up to winning at this level.

He is therefore taken to complete the hat-trick and can be backed at 11/4 with BetVictor to do just that.

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The Lir Jet feared most

The Lir Jet got beat last time out by Ventura Tormenta, but can turn the tables with that rival and thus rates the main danger.

They clashed last month in the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin at Chantilly and Michael Bell’s charge looked sure to collect before Ventura Tormenta rallied to chin him by a short-head.

The Lir Jet, who was sent off the 4/9 favourite that day, travelled like much the best horse for most of the contest and arguably hit the front too soon.

Prior to that, he had scored in good style on debut at Yarmouth before landing the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Lir Jet showed plenty of pace to chase the leaders in the latter before staying on strongly to account for American raider Golden Pal by a neck.

He showed a likeable attitude and had Ventura Tormenta just over six lengths behind in sixth, so there are strong reasons to believe that he is the better of the pair.

This race also looks likely to be run at a true gallop. That will suit the Lir Jet and allow Ben Coen, who is partnering him for the first time, to hold onto him until the last possible moment.

If that does prove to be the case, then The Lir Jet who can be backed at 4/1 with William Hill, looks sure to make a bold bid to get back to winning ways. He can give Steel Bull plenty to think about.

St Mark’s Basilica the pick of O’Brien’s Phoenix Stakes trio

All-conquering Ballydoyle handler Aidan O’Brien has won the Phoenix Stakes a record 16 times – but has not tasted success since Sioux Nation scored in 2017.

He saddles three in this year’s renewal and St Mark’s Basilica could well prove to be the pick of that trio.

This son of Siyouni was highly touted ahead of his debut in a nine-runner maiden over this course and distance last month, and sent off a well-backed 6/4 favourite.

Although he finished runner-up, nothing went right for St Mark’s Basilica at the start. After being slowly away, he quickly found himself on the back foot and playing catch-up.

He ran very green and looked to have a mountain to climb before the penny finally began to drop. St Mark’s Basilica then made good headway four from home and kept on nicely to be nearest at the finish and beaten just over two lengths.

Wayne Lordan was at pains not to give him a hard time. It was a hugely promising performance in the circumstances which suggested he had a big future.

Like many from the yard, St Mark’s Basilica is sure to have learned plenty from his first outing and is open to any amount of improvement.

That fact that connections have decided to pitch him straight into Group 1 company speaks volumes and commands him the utmost respect in this 10-runner line-up.

So, at odds of 8/1 with Unibet, St Mark’s Basilica appeals most from an each-way betting perspective in what is a cracking renewal of the Phoenix Stakes.

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