Phoenix To Bounce Back In Sussex Stakes

Phoenix To Bounce Back In Sussex Stakes

Charlie Hills is hoping Classic winner Phoenix Of Spain can bounce back in the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in four weeks time.

The three-year-old is looking to make amends for a poor show in the St James's Palace at Royal Ascot last month, having started the season so brightly at the Curragh in the Irish 2,000 Guineas.

Initially stepping up a gear from his juvenile campaign for his first start as a three-year-old, the son of Lope De Vega will be given a chance to get back in front of the likes of King Of Comedy, Too Darn Hot and eventual Ascot winner Circus Maximus should they all turn up on July 31.

The distinctive grey could bid to give Hills his first victory in the Group One Mile contest on the Sussex Downs, after being retracted from the entries for Saturday's Coral Eclipse at Sundown Park.

(Credit: AtTheRaces) 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-based trainer hopes that Bartholomeu Dias - fourth in the weekend's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle can take a step closer to appearing in the Sky Bet Ebor at York in August, when dropping back in trip 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," he finished.