Frankie Dettori celebrates after winning the Albany
Frankie Dettori celebrates after winning the Albany

Donnacha O’Brien backing Porta Fortuna to make Phoenix impact

Donnacha O’Brien is confident his Royal Ascot heroine Porta Fortuna can give the colts a run for their money in Saturday’s Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

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Having won a Curragh maiden and a Group Three at Naas in the spring, the daughter of Caravaggio completed her hat-trick in the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting under Frankie Dettori.

Connections had the option of keeping Porta Fortuna against her own sex in the Lowther at York later this month, but O’Brien is happy to roll the dice against the boys in a bid for Group One glory.

He said: “She’s won two Group races now, two Group Threes, so I suppose the next step now is to let her have a go at a Group One.

“The Lowther is a Group Two and we said we’d let her take her chance in a Group One.

“She’s in good form and working well, so we’re looking forward to it.”

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Oisin Murphy takes over in the saddle aboard Porta Fortuna, who is one of seven juveniles declared for the six-furlong contest.

Aidan O’Brien, Donnacha’s father, will rely on Railway Stakes second and third Unquestionable and His Majesty in his bid for a remarkable 18th Phoenix Stakes success, having decided against running his unbeaten Coventry Stakes winner River Tiber.

Other leading contenders include Adrian Murray’s Coventry third and Railway winner Bucanero Fuerte and Jessica Harrington’s Coventry fourth Givemethebeatboys.

“It looks like he (River Tiber) is going to go for the Prix Morny, but it’s still a very competitive field,” Donnacha O’Brien added.

“There’s three or four there that are very close on ratings, there’s a few that could win it. It’s a very open race and it should be good.”

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