Caravaggio followed his Coventry Stakes win with victory at the Curragh
PICTURE: Mark Cranham (racingpost.com/photos)
By Peter Scargill 3:39PM 7 AUG 2016
Report: Curragh, Sunday
Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (Group 1) 6f, 2yo
CARAVAGGIO is fast, his trainer Aidan O’Brien has always said, and he looked to be going a different gear to his rivals throughout as he thumped them to win this Group 1 without coming off the bridle.
Sent off the 1-8 favourite and with far superior form to his overmatched rivals, Caravaggio breezed into contention with a furlong-and-a-half to go and was merely nudged clear to win for jockey Seamie Heffernan.
Reputation and form combined to scare off most of the rivals to Caravaggio, whose superb win in the Coventry Stakes has been franked by the performances of Mehmas and Yalta since.
And in the end it was little more than a piece of work for Caravaggio, albeit you could not be helped but be impressed by how he won. Stablemate Courage Under Fire made the running before Caravaggio moved through and settled matters with the minimum of fuss.
“It’s about speed and class and he’s not short of either,” Heffernan said. “There was plenty left today. He always showed a lot and he’s never disappointed.”
He became a scarcely believable 15th winner of the race for O’Brien and was cut to a general 5-2 favourite (from 3) for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Paddy Power remained unchanged at 4-1 for the race.
Paddy Power’s view may be influenced by the record of O’Brien’s recent winners in the first Classic of the season. Only George Washington has followed up his Phoenix Stakes win with Classic glory, with the likes of hotshots One Cool Cat and Air Force Blue beaten.
More to follow. . .