Strong Phoenix hand for Hannon

Richard Hannon’s Strong Suit features among 13 confirmations for the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Richard Hannon’s Strong Suit features among 13 confirmations for the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Hannon has trained over 70 juvenile winners during 2010 and the likes of Libranno, King Torus and Zebedee further straightened his remarkable hand in that division with Group-race victories at Goodwood last week.

Strong Suit overcame plenty of trouble in running to win the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the trainer’s son and assistant Richard Hannon junior is confident he can maintain his unbeaten record in this weekend’s Group One.

“Strong Suit is in great form, he’s probably the best two-year-old seen out so far this season so he’ll go very well,” said Hannon junior.

Aidan O’Brien has a quite astonishing record in the race having saddled 10 of the last 12 winners, with the likes of George Washington, Holy Roman Emperor and Mastercraftsman striking for Ballydoyle.

Predictably the trainer has another strong hand with seven entries this year, including recent Tyros Stakes winner Zoffany, Samuel Morse and Lake Ontario.

Kevin Prendergast’s Dunboyne Express is unbeaten in two starts, Saeed bin Suroor could saddle recent Newbury winner Al Aasifh, while Jim Bolger’s sole entry is the once-raced Glor Na Mara.

Foolproof and Moonlit Garden complete the line-up.

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