The James Tate trained Top Rank will be put away for the rest of the season after a poor performance at Newmarket when stepped up in grade for the Group Two Joel Stakes.
The four year old has really hit the ground running this term and looks a highly progressive colt having won on his seasonal debut at Thirsk after almost a year off and then backing that up with a narrow third at York in a hot handicap that has seen he form franked since.
Top Rank last time out showed exactly how good he can be over a mile, taking the Group Three Superior Mile Stakes at Haydock and from there Tate was always stepping him up in class again.
Tate had his eyes set on the QEII at Ascot next month as the big target but after his run in the Joel Stakes at the weekend, finishing last of the 6 runners, his plans have been changed.
(Credit ATR) “It just didn’t play to his strengths,” said Tate.
“He probably wants more of a testing race. That kind of downhill, tailwind, good ground, Newmarket didn’t really suit him, but he’s fine afterwards.
“We haven’t decided fully, but I wouldn’t have thought we’d run him again this season. I thought we’d put him away for next year.
“He’s had a good year – and hopefully he can improve over the winter.”
He will stay over mile next season according to his trainer, but Tate has expressed his willingness to step him up in trip with him thinking his four year old will be able to get 10 furlongs.
“We’ll certainly start him over a mile, but there is a possibility we could try a mile and a quarter at some stage,” added the Newmarket trainer.
“That fast mile at Newmarket seemed a little on the sharp side for him.”