London – A cracking card at the Curragh on Sunday is headlined by the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes, in which it is going to take something special to lower the colours of the Gordon Elliott-trained Beckford.
The Bated Breath colt looked good when winning at the Curragh first time out, where he was not only the first two-year-old winner trained by jumps maestro Elliott but also his first at the headquarters of Irish Flat racing.
Elliott opted against going to Royal Ascot and that decision was vindicated when his charge got the job done really nicely in beating Verbal Dexterity in the Railway Stakes back at the Curragh.
The runner-up is held in high regard by Jim Bolger and Elliott might just have a very good one.
Son Of Rest could be the answer to what looks a fiercely competitive renewal of the At The Races Phoenix Sprint Stakes.
Veteran sprinter Gordon Lord Byron heads the field, but he has his work cut out under a penalty.
The Fozzy Stack-trained Son Of Rest is at the other end of the scale as a three-year-old, but has been thoroughly impressive twice this season, most recently winning a premier handicap at this venue in June.
He has far more on his plate in this Group Three contest, but his rating of 112 gives him every chance.
And while some of his rivals may be on the downgrade, he is very much an improving horse.
Angel Down catches the eye in the Boyzone Here On 26th August Handicap at Windsor.
Henry Candy’s gelding finished strongly to win a 1400m handicap at Newmarket in June and he was worth a try at 1600m last time out.
The three-year-old son of Kyllachy saw the trip out well enough as he got to within 2.50 lengths of Tafaakhor.
Angel Down looked to have had every chance on that occasion in what was a slightly muddling affair so the expectancy of him going even better at Windsor is hardly fanciful.
His trainer clearly thinks it is worth another go at that trip and he enjoys some cut in the ground.
Simon Walker’s appointment aboard Maroc should be the difference between success and failure in the Royal Windsor Amateur Riders’ Handicap.
Walker has no equal in these sort of races, so it is interesting that trainer Nikki Evans has gone out of her way to seek his services.
Maroc must carry top weight, but the four-year-old is in fine form and has only gone up 0.5kg after having finished a neck second to Boychick over this course an distance a fortnight ago.
He is still a maiden after 19 starts under both codes, but if anyone can get his nose in front it is Walker.
It looks a wise move by the old sage Luca Cumani to drop Vuela back down to 2400m for the Sri Lanka Paradise Island Fillies’ Handicap at Leicester.
Clearly a backward type, she did not make her debut until September of her three-year-old season but she showed up well.
With that experience under her belt, she went to Newcastle for an extended 2500m maiden and bolted up by five lengths.
Vuela then won on her reappearance at Doncaster in May but she found 2800m beyond her at Sandown a month later.
Given plenty of time off, it would be no surprise to see her resume winning ways. – Press Association