National Stakes on the agenda for third Phoenix Shartash

National Stakes on the agenda for third Phoenix Shartash

Fall August 11, 2022

Johnny Murtagh has suggested a stage up to seven furlongs is on the cards for Condition after finishing third behind Little Big Bear in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh.

Shartash had won two of his previous three starts and made his way into group one company by coming home late to touch stable mate Little Big Bear Blackbeard in the group two rail stakes.

Although passed at a crucial stage of the weekend’s six furlongs behind the very impressive 2000 Guineas favourite, he gave his best in the closing stages to almost take second place from Persian Force.

Murtagh now plans to continue campaigning with the son of Invincible Spirit at the highest level, with Goffs extra furlong Vincent O’Brien National Stakes returning to the Curragh on September 11 making plenty of appeal.

“I was very happy with the race and we are looking at the National Stakes next, everything is going well,” said Murtagh.

“He looked like he stayed seven the other day with the way he stayed. He’s just been edged out a significant part of the race, but we were pleased with the way he stayed.

The manager also provided an update on Ladies Churchwho bounced back in style from his disappointment at Royal Ascot to produce a career-high and clinch the Group Two Sapphire Stakes last month.

He added: “She is very good and on track for the Flying Five on Champions Weekend.”

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