GIVE the bookies some Spain pain in the Qatar Sussex Stakes.
PHOENIX OF SPAIN missed the 2000 Guineas with a setback but he made up for lost time when making all the running in the Irish version. It wasn’t a surprise he was a bit below par at Royal Ascot but I reckon it would be unwise to write off Charlie Hills’ star just yet.
Accidental Agent 2/5
Accident prone. Shock winner of the Queen Anne at last year’s Royal Ascot. Refused to leave the stalls in a Castella moment on his defence of that title and he didn’t look too keen when dropped to a Group 2 last time out. Hard to be confident he’ll be in a better mood.
Lord Glitters 3/5
No gold for Glitters. Finally bagged the Group 1 he had threatened to when swooping late in this year’s Queen Anne. His best efforts have often come at Ascot but he was third in this contest last season. Today’s race looks deeper but his turn of foot will always be a decent weapon.
Zabeel Prince 2/5
Prince is no king. Has risen through the ranks with steady progression over the last couple of years. Enjoyed his finest hour when landing a French Group 1 in May but he’s since looked out of his depth in top British prizes. Returns to a mile with a fair bit to prove.
I Can Fly 2/5
This Fly doesn’t have wings. Sole win this year came when 1-3 favourite in a weak fillies’ race on the all-weather in March. Has held her own in better races but she’s still some way below her best. Has gone close in Group 1s but she’s unlikely to finally hit the bullseye today.
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Circus Maximus 4/5
Max power. Looked a bit of a grinder when taking the 1m2f Dee Stakes at Chester. Didn’t run at all badly when sixth in the Derby having sat too close to the pace. The drop to a mile for the St James’s Palace Stakes looked an odd decision but he came up trumps. Needs the blinkers to work again but he has to be considered.
Happy Power 1/5
No Happy ending. Has won half of his eight races but his form is a country mile away from what’s required today. His York Listed win has not really worked out and he was too keen when well held in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. Wouldn’t want fast ground but will be nearer last than first whatever the conditions.
Phoenix Of Spain 5/5
Ready to rise again. Not far off the best juveniles last year having run 2000 Guineas hero Magna Grecia to a head. Missed the Newmarket Classic but put in a dominant performance from the front to beat Too Darn Hot in the Irish version. His St James’s Palace disappointment might have come too soon and his best form gives him a great chance.
Too Darn Hot 4/5
Sizzling Hot. The best juvenile since Frankel last season with four impressive wins including the Group 1 Dewhurst. Didn’t make it to the 2000 Guineas and beaten in the Irish version and the St James’s Palace Stakes. Impressive in a French Group 1 three weeks ago but this is a tougher test. Short enough in the betting.