Hills gives Vintage second Iberian Champagne aim

Charlie Hills’ classy two-year-old Iberian is on track to line up in the Betfred Champagne Stakes during Doncaster’s St Leger Festival.

Owned by Teme Valley and Ballylinch Stud, the son of Lope De Vega created a taking impression when winning a Newbury novice event earlier in the summer and immediately had his sights raised to bigger and better things.

Although deteriorating ground ruled him out of a Superlative Stakes clash with Aidan O’Brien’s Classic hope City Of Troy, Iberian did get the chance to advertise his talents in Group Two company when second in the Vintage Stakes during the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

Inexperience took its toll as he chased home Richard Hannon’s Haatem for the silver medal on the Sussex Downs, but his handler is hopeful the exposure to a higher calibre contest will tee him up nicely for his next outing at that level on Town Moor.

“He’s been really good since Goodwood,” said Hills.

“He was probably just a little bit green on that ground and around that track. He just ran a bit in snatches but I’m sure that experience will bring him on a good bit.

“His work has been great since and he’s due to do a nice piece this week. Hopefully that will put him spot on for Doncaster next week.

“That race should suit him and better ground will help as well.”

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