Big striding three year old Phoenix Of Spain has been described as ‘bomb proof’ by his trainer in the lead up to the Group 1 £538,750 St James’s Palace Stakes (7 furlongs, 213 yards) on Day One of the 2019 Royal Ascot Carnival in England.
Farrington Place trainer Charlie Hills said that Phoenix Of Spian hasn’t put a hoof wrong since winning the Group 1 €400,000 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas (1 mile) at the Curragh in Ireland on May 25 and he will be hard to beat again.
“If he runs the race he ran in Ireland he’ll be hard to beat but we can’t be sure how hard a race he had because to run to 120 first time out is pretty massive,” Hills told the Racing Post.
“However, although we haven’t tested him since the Curragh, he has done everything we’ve asked him to do.
“He has the most amazing temperament. Nothing fazes him.”
“He is bomb proof. He is also such a strong galloper and he has the biggest stride.”
“He can gallop all day long at his relentless pace. I’m sure he will get a mile and a quarter one day but we don’t want to do that just yet.”
Phoenix Of Spain is the winner of three of his six race starts with Jamie Spencer steering him to two of those wins including his last start win in the Irish 2000 Guineas.
Spencer gets the ride again on Phoenix Of Spain who will jump from barrier seven in the eleven horse St James’s Palace Stakes field for the three year olds.
Phoenix Of Spain has eased slightly in the betting at Ladbrokes.com.au and after opening at $2.70, still remains the favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes at $3 just ahead of the firming $3.10 second pick Too Darn Hot.
The John Gosden trained Too Darn Hot will have to improve three lengths if he is to challenge Phoenix Of Spain after filling the runner’s up stall in the Irish 2000 Guineas.
Too Darn Hot has drawn barrier two in the St James’s Palace Stakes with Frankie Dettori in the saddle.