Keeneland Phoenix Stakes
|Group 1, Curragh 15:10
2yo only, 6f
|Sunday 9th August 2020|
1 Lucky Vega 4/1
2 The Lir Jet 5/1
3 Aloha Star 14/1
10 ran Distances: shd, 3½l, ½l
Time: 1m 13.35s (slow by 1.95s)
Mighty impressive! Lucky Vega is in glorious isolation and lands the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix for Shane Foley and Jessica Harrington 👏 pic.twitter.com/gWx2Eiuz8k— The Curragh Racecourse (@curraghrace) August 9, 2020
The Jessica Harrington-trained Lucky Vega was second to the reopposing Laws Of Indices over this course and distance last time out and was always moving with some purpose during this latest assignment.
Giorgio Visari and Ventura Tormenta had taken the Group One field along, but while Prix Robert Papin winner Ventura Tormenta started to feel the pace from two furlongs out, Lucky Vega travelled smoothly in behind and really opened up from a furlong out.
Shane Foley’s mount went further clear the further they went, having three and a half lengths in hand of Aloha Star at the line, with Papin runner-up The Lir Jet a short-head back in third. However, a stewards’ inquiry subsequently reversed the placings of Aloha Star and The Lir Jet.
Laws Of Indices ran on for fourth, having been a little slowly away.
Harrington said: “He was good. That’s Mr (Yuesheng) Zhang’s first Group One winner worldwide. I’m absolutely delighted for the horse and it’s great for Mr Zhang.
“He’s a nice horse going forward and Shane said he’s getting quicker. He probably needed it the last day because he had won his maiden without getting into a battle. The last day when he got into a bit of a battle it just hardened him up.
“He was much more streetwise and on his work at home he had really started to come to himself.
“We thought he was working well, but you never know until you go racing and everyone said this was a strong renewal.”
Looking to the immediate future, Harrington said: “We’ll have to sit down and think now, but Shane said we’d probably be thinking about the Middle Park. I think he’ll get seven as well.
“Last year was all about the fillies, so it’s great this year to come up with a good colt.”
Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Group 1)
6f , Winner: €118,000
Going: Good to Yielding
POS. (DRAW) DIST HORSE AGE WGT TRAINER JOCKEY SP
1 (9) Lucky Vega 2 9-5 Mrs John Harrington Shane Foley 4/1
2 (3) 3½ The Lir Jet 2 9-5 Michael Bell Ben Coen 14/1
3 (1) shd Aloha Star 2 9-2 J A Stack Chris Hayes 5/1
4 (10) ½ Laws Of Indices 2 9-5 K J Condon W J Lee 8/1
5 (2) nk St Mark's Basilica 2 9-5 A P O'Brien Wayne Lordan 7/2F
6 (6) ½ Bubbles On Ice 2 9-2 J A Stack Ronan Whelan 80/1
7 (4) 2¼ Steel Bull 2 9-5 M D O'Callaghan Leigh Roche 9/2
8 (8) nk Giorgio Vasari 2 9-5 A P O'Brien Michael Hussey 16/1
9 (5) 2¼ Admiral Nelson 2 9-5 A P O'Brien Emmet McNamara 14/1
10 (7) ½ Ventura Tormenta 2 9-5 Richard Hannon Declan McDonogh 12/1