THE LIR JET and Ventura Tormenta both feature in a potentially top-class renewal of the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.
Middleham Park Racing have supplemented the Richard Hannon-trained Ventura Tormenta to the Group 1 at a cost of €20,000 after his narrow defeat of The Lir Jet in last month’s Prix Robert Papin.
Michael Bell’s The Lir Jet had previously beaten Hannon’s speedster when landing the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot – on what was Ventura Tormenta’s debut.
They are set to renew rivalry again and could face a strong home contingent, with five Aidan O’Brien entries and the unbeaten Molecomb winner Steel Bull among the likely opposition.
Hannon said: “Middleham Park were keen to take the race on because the Morny was already looking over-subscribed.
“I think this was a good opportunity for the horse to have a crack at a Group 1. He has come back from France well and has never looked better.
“He has put on weight and the whole experience of France will have done his confidence a lot of good. I think the track at the Curragh will suit him and he is a very straightforward horse.
“I think he is joint top-rated going into the race and we are looking forward to seeing what he can do.
“He will be renewing his rivalry with The Lir Jet, which will be a challenge, while there will be some other nice horses in there, which you expect at this level.”
There are 15 entries in total for the €200,000 sprint, the feature on a high-class card at the Curragh on Sunday.
Paddy Power make Steel Bull their 2-1 favourite, with The Lir Jet (7-2) and Ventura Tormenta (11-2) next best.
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