Elliott banking on Beckford

Beckford is set to run on Sunday

Beckford could face up to 11 rivals when he puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

A rare two-year-old runner for Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott, the son of Bated Breath made a big impression on his racecourse debut at the Curragh in May.

He returned to the same venue to win the Railway Stakes at the start of last month and will now test the water at Group One level this weekend.

Elliott said: "He's a very nice horse and he'll have to improve again, but we think he is in good form and I'm happy with him.

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"I was thrilled with him the last day but he'll probably come on a bit even for that as he was a little bit green when he got to the front."

Twelve months ago Aidan O'Brien won the six-furlong Phoenix Stakes for a remarkable 16th time with Caravaggio.

The Ballydoyle handler could this year call upon Sioux Nation, winner of the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, and dual course-and-distance scorer Fleet Review.

Dali, Declarationofpeace, Mount Wellington, US Navy Flag and Actress make up the seven-strong squad.

Ken Condon's Romanised and T For Tango from James Nash's stable are the other potential home-trained contenders, while the Tom Dascombe-trained Frozen Angel and Helvetian from Mick Channon's yard could travel from Britain.

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