Queen’s Tactical keeps on upward curve
The Queen is not known for her precocious two-year-olds, but Tactical, her Windsor Castle winner at Royal Ascot, continued his climb towards the top of the juvenile ladder by winning the Tattersalls July Stakes with some authority at Newmarket yesterday.
The homebred colt, stepping up to six furlongs and encountering soft ground for the first time, has a lovely way of switching off in the early part of the race, which will, ultimately, help him get a mile, perhaps in the 2,000 Guineas, next season.
Yesterday he hit the front with 100 yards to run and beat Yazaman by a length and a quarter, with Escape Route and Qaader, the favourite, third and fourth.
“I was really pleased with him stepping up a furlong on slower ground,” said trainer Andrew Balding. “It confirms the Windsor Castle was a decent race. Time will tell, but he could end up one of the top two-year-olds this year. We have to look Group One now and he might go to France for the Morny. His pedigree suggests a mile shouldn’t be a problem next year.”
John Warren, the Queen’s racing adviser, said: “Form-wise that was the same as the Windsor Castle, but the way he did it looked even better. We might just have a very exciting horse on our hands. Although it looks like he will stay seven furlongs, at the moment we will keep to what he has been good at.”
Without wishing to get too far ahead of oneself, it is, perhaps, worth remembering that the first of the Queen’s three Ascot juvenile winners was Pall Mall, who went on to win the 2,000 Guineas in 1958.
Hollie Doyle, who has been carrying all before her this season and broke her Royal Ascot duck last month, rode her first Group Two winner when Dame Malliot won the concluding Princess of Wales’s Tattersalls Stakes.
However, the most impressive winner of the day was Al Suhail, a disappointment first time out in the Guineas. The Godolphin colt ran away with the Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes by six lengths from Mystery Power.
“It just didn’t go right for him in the Guineas,” said his jockey, William Buick. “He travelled there so strongly today I got there a furlong sooner than I wanted. In a way, he has backed up his home work.”
Away from the July meeting, it was a good day for Mark Johnston at York, ironically a track where the Middleham-based trainer usually finds it harder to win than either Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood. In the space of 35 minutes, he and Franny Norton completed the Musidora-Dante double with Rose Of Kildare and Thunderous, who wore down the 8-11 favourite Highest Ground late on to win by a neck.
“It’s amazing considering where he’s come from,” said Harry Herbert, of Highclere Thoroughbred. “He had a hairline fracture after winning at Newbury last year, which stopped him for the season and he had another setback this spring which took him out of training, then Covid, then the delayed start. He had barely galloped when he went to Newmarket and it is fantastic to know he can win a Dante, knowing there is so much more to come.”
Hitting the front: Tactical, ridden by William Buick (left), wins the Tattersalls July Stakes