sport

Lynam going warning for Anthem

Eddie Lynam has warned Anthem Alexander could bypass Sunday's Keeneland Phoenix Stakes should the ground prove too soft.

The Starspangledbanner filly has made quite an impression in her two most recent starts, winning a Tipperary maiden by seven lengths before holding off subsequent Super Sprint winner Tiggy Wiggy by a neck in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.

However, she was only sixth on her racecourse debut on very testing ground at the Curragh in May over six furlongs, sparking some concern about potential underfoot conditions as she returns to that trip.

Lynam said: "[The form] has and hasn't worked out from Ascot. The second, Tiggy Wiggy, has since gone on and won but the third (Newsletter) has let the form down a bit so I suppose it's a case of six and two threes, it just depends how you read it but the Queen Mary is usually a good race.

"The filly has trained well, but there would have to be a question mark about her with the weather forecast. We've had some heavy rain in Ireland this morning and if the word 'soft' was in the going, I don't think she would run.

"We'll do what's right for the filly and I'll be discussing it with the owner. We've 48 hours to go so there's no need to make a decision yet. We'd be happy enough with the good to yielding it was at declaration time, but we will see with the weather.

"We're stepping her up to six furlongs and I would feel she might not get the trip and she wouldn't enjoy the ground if it were soft.

"She has been going well, though, and we're happy with her."

What looks a red-hot renewal has drawn a field of nine, with the Johnny Murtagh-trained Kasbah the only horse yet to win a race and the sole runner rated less than 100.

Lynam said: "It looks a very strong race with eight of the nine runners rated 100 or more. The filly (Beach Belle) looks very nice and Richard Hannon's horse (Kool Kompany) sets the bar for me after he won the Prix Robert Papin.

"Aidan O'Brien has a very good record in the race and he runs four while Capella Sansevero was second in the Coventry at Ascot, so it's a very strong race.

"She's as good as we can get her and if she can get some nice ground, I think she will run well."