Irish Guineas the aim for Phoenix Of Spain

Grey pushed Magna Grecia close last season

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Phoenix Of Spain is likely to make his reappearance in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas later this month.

Having won the Acomb Stakes at York last August, the Charlie Hills-trained grey went on to chase home Too Darn Hot in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster before being touched off by subsequent Qipco 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at the same track.

A tilt at Saturday’s Classic at Newmarket had been under serious consideration, but Hills was forced to rule his charge out of it and is now eyeing the Irish equivalent at the Curragh on May 25.

“He just gave one or two coughs and his scope wasn’t 100 per cent. We’ve knocked that on the head now, but Newmarket was going to be too soon for him,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.

“It’s unfortunate as it did look a very open 2000 Guineas this year, but we’re doing right by the horse.

“We’ve given ourselves a bit more time and the plan is to go to for the Irish Guineas.

“He’ll probably have another racecourse gallop between now and then.”

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