Arizona and Siskin are two of the star names among 16 juveniles still in contention for the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Friday.
Aidan O’Brien has saddled 16 of the last 21 winners of the Group One contest, with Johannesburg (2001), George Washington (2005), Holy Roman Emperor (2006), Mastercraftsman (2008) and Caravaggio (2016) among those on the roll of honour.
Arizona is very much the headline act in this year’s Ballydoyle squad, having followed up an eight-length maiden success over this course and distance with victory in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
O’Brien has also left in July Stakes winner Royal Lytham and Railway Stakes runner-up Monarch Of Egypt, among others.
The hugely-impressive winner of the Railway Stakes was the Ger Lyons-trained Siskin. The son of First Defence stretched his unbeaten record to three in that Group Two contest in late June and looks a major threat to Arizona on that evidence.
Martyn Meade’s Advertise became the first British-trained winner of the Phoenix Stakes in over two decades 12 months ago and the raiding party have another major player this year in Simon Crisford’s A’Ali – winner of the Norfolk Stakes at Ascot and the Prix Robert Papin at Deauville.
Joseph O’Brien’s Air Force Jet, Jim Bolger’s Arranmore and John Murphy’s Think Big also feature.