PHOENIX Of Spain was one of the leading juveniles of 2018, and a colt of obvious classic potential.
He finished fourth to King Of Comedy (now at stud in New Zealand) on his debut over seven furlongs at Sandown in early July and easily won over the same trip at Wolverhampton just over three weeks later.
His third start advertised his potential to make an impact at the highest level because he won the Group 3 Acomb Stakes in good style at York and, although he was beaten on his final two runs, those performances enhanced his reputation.
First was the Group 2 Champagne Stakes in which he chased home that year’s undefeated champion Too Darn Hot, then came the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy where he made Magna Grecia fight, finishing only a head down at the line.
Both winners would go on to further stardom at three, one striking twice at the highest level and the other landing the 2000 Guineas, and both are, like Phoenix Of Spain, much sought-after young stallions.
Sourcing sire prospects is a competitive business and the Irish National Stud had already made their move for Phoenix Of Spain before he made his seasonal debut at three. It proved an inspired decision because the future home for the grey could be announced in the glow of his three-length victory in the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, where he made all to beat Too Darn Hot and a dozen others in a line-up that day which included Magna Grecia and future Group 1 sprint ace Emaraaty Ana.
He has covered large books in his first two seasons and will surely do so again this year. Fifteen of his foals fetched between €30,000 and €70,000 in the auction ring in November, selling at Goffs and in Newmarket, and their prices were headlined by his daughter of Queen Of Carthage (Cape Cross) who made €195,000 at the Kill venue. That mare is the dam of the classic-placed juvenile Group 1-winner Lucky Vega, who is now in the early weeks of his first season at the Irish National Stud, the second son of Ballylinch Stud’s classic winner and leading international sire Lope De Vega (Shamardal) on that roster.
Phoenix Of Spain is the other one, of course, and in addition to representing Giant’s Causeway’s branch of the mighty Storm Cat (Storm Bird) line, they have the attraction of being by a stallion whose first sire son already has a string of stakes winners to his name.
That is Belardo, a Group 1 winner at two and four and who has three juvenile pattern winners plus three other stakes winners among 11 blacktype horses so far; his eldest are now four years old.
Phoenix Of Spain is the best of four blacktype horses out of a half-sister to the prolific pattern winner Special Kaldoun (Alzao), comes from the family of the US nine-furlong Grade 1-winner La Koumia (by Kaldoun), and looks likely to get his best in the six-to-12-furlong range.
PHOENIX OF SPAIN (IRE), Grey 2016. Won three races, £368,804, from 7 furlongs to 1 mile, at 2 and 3 years including, Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas, Curragh, Gr.1, Tattersalls Acomb Stakes, York, Gr.3, also placed second in Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes, Doncaster, Gr.1, Howcroft Champagne Stakes, Doncaster, Gr.2.
Retired to Stud in 2020, first crop now yearlings.
Stands at: Irish National Stud, Tully East, Kildare, Co Kildare, R51 DD56, Ireland.
Contact: Gary Swift or Conor Hyland
Telephone: +353 (0)45 521251 or +353 (0)86 6031979 (Gary) or +353 (0)85 1299236 (Conor)