Phoenix Of Spain tops St James's Palace Stakes contenders for Royal Ascot

Phoenix Of Spain wins the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh
Phoenix Of Spain wins the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh

The Charlie Hills-trained Phoenix Of Spain heads 16 three-year-old colts in line for Tuesday's St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The grey burst a few bubbles when running away with the Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on his seasonal reappearance and he's set to go for back-to-back Group One victories under Jamie Spencer on day one of the Royal meeting.

Hills reported in his column in the Weekender: "We're now aiming him at the St James's Palace Stakes next week and I couldn't be happier with him.

"Obviously he was pretty fit to win at the Curragh, but it's brought him on again, he didn't lose much weight and he's nice and fresh.

"All being well, we'd then look at the Sussex Stakes and see where we go, but I wouldn't mind trying him over 1m2f later in the campaign."

Champion juvenile Too Darn Hot chased him home in Ireland will reoppose at Ascot for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori, while Newmarket hero Magna Grecia was the principal absentee from the St James's Palace six-day confirmations.

His trainer Aidan O'Brien will instead rely on Circus Maximus, The Irish Rover and Van Beethoven to fly the flag for Ballydoyle, while Charlie Appleby's Line Of Duty could drop back in distance after disappointing efforts in the Dante Stakes and Investec Derby so far this season.

Richard Hannon's King Of Comedy and the William Haggas-trained Skardu could represent the QIPCO 2000 Guineas form having finished second and third to Magna Grecia on the Rowley Mile, while Royal Marine, Advertise, Dark Vision and Fox Champion are others in line for Tuesday's contest.

The acceptors are completed by Bell Rock, Bye Bye Hong Kong, Shaman and Turgenev.

Check out Matt's tips for the five days at Royal Ascot
Check out Matt's tips for the five days at Royal Ascot

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