Irish National Stud Backs A Classic Winner

The Irish National Stud has shown great foresight by securing Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain for stallion duties at the conclusion of his racing career.

PHOENIX OF SPAIN Picture: (Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

A deal for the son of Lope De Vega to stand at the National Stud was negotiated with the colt's octogenarian owners Ann Plummer and Tony Wechsler in December.

Phoenix Of Spain will continue racing for Plummer and Wechsler before joining a deep stallion roster that includes Invincible Spirit, Decorated Knight, Dragon Pulse, Elusive Pimpernel, Free Eagle, Gale Force Ten and National Defense

"We purchased the stallion rights in the horse back in December," said Irish National Stud chief executive Cathal Beale.

"He was on our list so we went and had a look at him late last year. Physically he was a horse we really liked and thought would progress from two to three as he's such a big, powerful individual.

"His form stacked up, his physical stacked up and pedigree stacked up so it was just a case of whether we could make it happen. Luckily we got the deal done.

"He's by Lope De Vega, which was a big attraction as he's an established Group 1 winner-producing stallion and I think he'll become a sire of sires in time.”

The Charlie Hills-trained Phoenix Of Spain (Lope De Vega x Lucky Clio by Key Of Luck) won the G2 Acomb Stakes and was twice G1 placed last season.

He became the first horse in 45 years to win last weekend’s Irish 2000 Guineas at his first start as a 3YO when he accounted for a crack field that included last season’s champion juvenile colt Too Darn Hot and Newmarket 2000 Guines winner Magna Grecia.

Phoenix Of Spain is the eighth G1 winner and first classic winner by French Derby winner and former shuttle sire Lope De Vega, who stands at Ballylinch Stud in Ireland.

His G1 winners include Belardo, Newspaperofrecord and Australian sprint stars Santa Ana Lane and Vega Magic.

Phoenix Of Spain, the seventh winner and fourth stakes performer out of Lucky Clio, was pinhooked at the 2016 Tattersalls December Sale by Good Will Bloodstock for 78,000gns and later offered at the 2017 October Yearling Sale where Howson and Houldsworth Bloodstock secured him for owners Tony Wechsler and Ann Plummer for 220,000gns.

A 2YO brother to Phoenix Of Spain was purchased as a weanling by Grove Stud for €110,000 and a yearling half-brother by Awtaad was pinhooked by Tally-Ho Stud for €58,000 last year.

She was covered by Ribchester in 2018.

* Aiden O’Brien’s Galileo filly Hermosa completed a classic double with an impressive four lengths win in Sunday’s Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.

She joins Attraction (2004), Finsceal Beo (2007) and Winter (2017) as fillies to win the 1000 Guineas double at Newmarket and the Curragh.

O’Brien said Hermosa will now be set for the Prix de Diane at Chantilly on June 16.

Hermosa is the eighth Irish 1000 Guineas winner for O’Brien and his 41st Irish classic win.

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