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Middle Park an option for Tactical after French defeat, says Andrew Balding

Mon 24 Aug 2020

Tactical could go on a retrieval mission in next month’s Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.

After failing to feature on his Group One debut in the Prix Morny at Deauville on Sunday, the Andrew Balding-trained colt, who is owned by the Queen, could be kept at the top level for the six-furlong prize on September 26.

While Tactical was beaten on his latest outing, he had previously demonstrated his ability with victories in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group Two July Stakes at Newmarket.

Balding said: “We were disappointed with the result, but his jockey felt that he just struggled on the ground.

“We will get him home and regroup, but I’ve not lost faith in the horse. We will get him back on a better surface and try to get him back on track.

“We didn’t consider pulling him out of the race as we thought he was equipped to deal with most types of ground, but he never looked comfortable on it.

“The Middle Park is a possibility, but there is also a chance we might look to step him up to seven furlongs as well.”

An outing in the Ayr Gold Cup is on the agenda for King’s Lynn, who is also owned by The Queen.

Having signed off last season with victory in a sales contest at Doncaster, the son of Cable Bay finished second at Town Moor on his return to action.

Balding said: “He needed his run at Doncaster the other week, but he is entitled to come on for it. If he gets in the Ayr Gold Cup, that is where we will be looking, but we need a few to come out to get in it.

“He won’t be worried by a big field having won the sales race at Doncaster. It was quite quick the other day and I think he will be better with a bit of cut in the ground, which he should get at Ayr.”

Gimcrack Stakes third Mystery Smiles will remain at six furlongs on his next start in the Group Two Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

He said: “He ran a super race and we will look at the Mill Reef next for him. He will stay seven in time, but he will probably have another run at six.

“I think he will be a better horse on quicker ground. He is an exciting horse going forwards.”

One set of connections who enjoyed a far more profitable trip to France were the Nick Bradley Racing team responsible for Fev Rover.

Fev Rover has the Fillies’ Mile and the Prix Marcel Boussac among her options after winning the Prix du Calvados.

The Richard Fahey-trained filly added to her Listed win at Sandown by claiming Group Two honours in France.

Despite winning on soft ground, Fahey thinks she is an even better filly on a sounder surface.

“She’ll have to go into a Group One now, either at Newmarket or back to France,” said Fahey.

“She’s a talented filly. Everyone said she’s good on the soft, but I think she wants fast ground – it’s just that she’s very good.

“She’s a great moving filly and I’m actually surprised she’s running so well on the soft. She’s improving and is just very smart.

“Her form is working out. She ran very well at Newmarket behind Dandalla, but that was over six furlongs and that’s too sharp for her.

“She’s in the Boussac and we’ll keep an eye on the Fillies’ Mile as well.”

It was a profitable couple of days for Fahey who also had Rhythm Master finish a fine third in the Prix Morny on just his second outing.

“It was a huge ask going from a maiden to a Group One and he did show a little bit of inexperience,” said Fahey.

“He half missed the start a beat and then had a think when he squared him up to get racing.

“I’m not saying I’d have beaten the winner, but I’d like to have been on her tail.

“Good horses go on any ground, but I would prefer to see him on better ground.

“He’s got plenty of options, but I’d just like to see how he comes out of this one first – maybe something like the Dewhurst – we do like him, he’s a smart horse.

“He’ll improve, he was just a bit babyish in the preliminaries. It was only his second day at school and for his first there was no crowd – it was quite a big crowd at Deauville.”

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