Guineas ambitions for Phoenix Of Spain

Hills to choose between Newmarket and ParisLongchamp

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The Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the French equivalent at ParisLongchamp are the two options under consideration for exciting colt Phoenix Of Spain.

Winner of the Acomb Stakes at York last summer, the Charlie Hills-trained grey then found only John Gosden’s star juvenile Too Darn Hot too strong in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster.

Phoenix Of Spain rounded off his two-year-old campaign by finishing a close second to Aidan O’Brien’s Magna Grecia in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, and Hills feels his charge deserves a tilt at Guineas glory.

However, whether that will be on the Rowley Mile on May 4 or in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains the following weekend remains undecided.

“We’ll see where are in the next 10 days or so,” said Hills.

“He is in the English Guineas, obviously, and he won’t run in a trial. If he is going to go to Newmarket he’ll go straight there.

“If we feel he needs a bit more time then we could look at the French Guineas, and later on the Irish Guineas (Curragh, May 25) is a possibility.

“He is in the Dante (York, May 16) as well, and we feel he could get a mile and a quarter, but there are some big mile races to go for first.”

He added: “Looking at his form, I think he’s right up there with the best of the three-year-old colts at this stage.

“Physically, he’s done really well and he looks well.”

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