Hills favouring Sussex date for Phoenix revival

Goodwood feature a possible target after Ascot disappointment

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Charlie Hills is leaning towards giving Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain the chance to get his career back on track in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood later this month.

The son of Lope De Vega could bid to give the Lambourn handler his first victory in the mile Group One prize on July 31 after being taken out of the entries for Saturday’s Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.

Having made a winning return to action in the Irish Classic, the Tony Wechsler and Ann Plummer-owned three year old failed to back it up when finishing down the field in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Hills said: “Phoenix Of Spain was very sore when he came back from Ascot. He had a quiet week but he is back cantering steadily and I’m pleased with him.

“I need to speak to the owners, but the plan in my mind is to stay at a mile and look towards the Sussex Stakes.

“I think we will try further at some stage during the season, but not on his next run. I think the track at Goodwood should be fine for him.”

The Lambourn handler hopes that Northumberland Plate fourth Bartholomeu Dias can take a step closer to an outing in the Sky Bet Ebor at York when dropping back in trip to a mile and three-quarters on his next start.

He added: “Bartholomeu Dias ran a really good race. It looked like he was going to win a long way up the home straight and he was travelling almost too well.

“The trip just found him out as he was outstayed at the end. We are going to bring him back to a mile-six and we have made an entry in the bet365 Trophy at Newmarket and a Group Three at York (John Smith’s Silver Cup).

“I hope he makes up into a cup horse next season, but I’d like to think he would get in the Ebor – he needs to go up in the ratings, but that is what we are trying to do.”

Hills favouring Sussex date for Phoenix revival
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