Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain is likely to step up in trip for his next outing says his trainer Charlie Hills as he was left baffled as to why his colt ran poorly in the Group Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The three year old was a bright talent as a juvenile winning two of his five contests including the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at the York Ebor meeting.
Also in his last two appearances as a two year old he ran credibly in defeat to two stars, his first behind Too Darn Hot at Doncaster in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes and then again at Doncaster when he was touched off by 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia.
As a three year old he came back looking like a different animal, more matured and more grown into his coat and he proved all this when storming to a four length victory at the Curragh in the Irish Classic race getting his revenge on Too Darn Hot.
Since then he has fell away and not progressed like everyone thought he would, finishing a weak sixth at Royal Ascot in the St James's Palace Stakes.
He was even worse, taking another backwards step at Goodwood in the Sussex Stakes when he came sixth of eight runners and now his trainer has decided to step him up in trip.
(Credit At The Races) Trainer Charles Hills said:“He had a canter (on Tuesday) and moved really nicely. We are just scratching our heads.
“Whether the track suited him, I’m not sure, as plenty of horses don’t handle Goodwood.“We don’t know where we are going to go straight away, but the next week or two will tell us where to go.
“I think we are definitely looking to step him up to 10 furlongs, he is in a couple of 10-furlong races now and that is something we will look towards.“We have a couple more tests to do this week and we will know a bit more.”