PHOENIX OF SPAIN is set for a tasty rematch with QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia at the Curragh.
Charlie Hills' smart colt went down by a head to Magna Grecia in the Vertem Futurity Stakes when last seen in October.
That form now looks top-class, and his earlier second to the talented Too Darn Hot also puts him right near the top of the tree.
Magna Grecia was cut into the odds-on 4-7 favourite for the Irish 2,000 Guineas, while Phoenix Of Spain is a 20-1 shot.
Hills had considered a tilt at Newmarket's Classic, but was forced to rule his colt out of the race.
He said: "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.
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"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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