Aloha Star's connections lodge appeal following Phoenix Stakes demotion
Connections of Phoenix Stakes third Aloha Star have lodged an appeal against the stewards' decision to demote her from second spot in Sunday's Group 1 feature, with a date for the hearing to be finalised over the coming days.
The Fozzy Stack-trained two-year-old proved her 33-1 Group 2 success in the Airlie Stud Stakes was no fluke when finishing second past the post under Chris Hayes at the Curragh, but the placings were revised following a stewards' inquiry that saw The Lir Jet promoted to second.
A short head separated the pair at the line after a duelling battle in the closing stages, with the Starspangledbanner filly shifting to her left and deemed to have intimidated Michael Bell's Norfolk Stakes winner.
Hayes also received a one-day ban after the stewards felt he failed to take reasonable steps to avoid causing interference.
The prize-money structures for the 6f event award €40,000 to the runner-up and €20,000 to the third, while the winner Lucky Vega, three and a half lengths clear in front, collected €120,000.
Speaking on Monday, Stack told the Racing Post: "We've lodged an appeal this morning. She ran a great race and has come out of it well so we'll see what happens."
Regardless of the appeal's outcome, Aloha Star surely enhanced her value with the placed effort, a timely boost for connections as she is entered in the Tattersalls Online August Sale which runs from Wednesday to Friday.
Stack explained: "We'll see how things go, but if she was bought by somebody who would keep her with us, I'd imagine she'd go for the Cheveley Park Stakes next."
The Tipperary-based handler also saw his 80-1 outsider Bubbles On Ice finish a highly creditable sixth in the Phoenix.
He added: "Bubbles On Ice is a smart filly and we were happy with her. She'll appreciate going back up in trip."
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