Advertise breaks Irish stranglehold on Phoenix Stakes at Curragh

By Geoffrey Riddle@Louchepunter
Sun 12 Aug 2018

Martyn Meade broke the Irish stranglehold on the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes when Advertise and Frankie Dettori powered to victory at the Curragh on Sunday.

Mark Johnston’s Princely Heir was the last British-trained winner of the six-furlong Group One in 1997, but Advertise was sent off the 11-10 favourite on account of his second to Calyx in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and then his victory at the July Course last time. Bullish comments from trainer Martyn Meade also helped.

Aidan O’Brien fielded four of the six runners, and So Perfect finished ahead of stablemate The Irish Rover for the places as the Ballydoyle maestro searched for his 17th win in the race.

Advertise, a son of sprinter Showcasing, was cut to 12-1 for next season’s Qipco 2,000 Guineas behind injured Coventry conqueror Calyx and could now head to Newmarket for the traditional juvenile championship.

Meade said: "I've been quite bullish about this horse and luckily it's paid off, otherwise I might have had to eat my words a bit.

"I'm very pleased with him, it's great, and maybe we'll step him up to seven furlongs now.

"We'll give him a bit of a break and then go for the Dewhurst or something like that I suppose. It seems logical and he'll get further."

He added: "The big question is if he'll get a mile, but he'll definitely get seven.

"It was a great result. Obviously I was coming here with a lot of trepidation, but you can tell very good horses at home, going to perform for you, got the form and did the job.

"If you've got a good horse it makes a difference, you don't have to struggle too much then.

"It was a great ride by Frankie and it's great to have him on board. As he said to me after he won the July Stakes, 'send him anywhere you like' and that proved to be right.

"I'm thrilled to bits with him. Every run he's been held up and produced with a turn of foot, but he was able to dictate today and it shows that he knows his job now."

Advertise had finished marginally ahead of the reopposing Sergei Prokofiev when they came home second and third in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, since which Meade's charge had claimed an impressive victory in the July Stakes.

The Irish Rover adopted a pacesetting role, with Advertise always in his slipstream.

With Sergei Prokofiev failing to fire, The Irish Rover and Advertise settled down to fight it out and were joined by So Perfect racing inside the last of six furlongs.

There was little to split the trio as they raced for the line, but Advertise stuck his neck out to score by half a length.

"I was surprised there was no pace, so I had to be more forward than I wanted,” Dettori said. “They gave me a little fright but I had plenty left. He needs seven furlongs now and the Dewhurst could be next."

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