The Archie Watson trained Group One winning sprinter Glen Shiel has been given the target of the July Cup next time out after bouncing back to form at Royal Ascot when second in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
The seven year old gelding came on leaps and bounds last season, starting the term off as a handicapper and ending it as a Group One winner.
Having won a Conditions Stakes at Newcastle on the all weather, he then went to the Curragh on softish ground and landed the Group Three Phoenix Sprint Stakes.
The improvement was remarkable as he then headed to Haydock for his first try in Group One company and he finished a good second to Dream Of Dreams In the Sprint Cup Stakes.
Progressing again, on his final run of last season he managed to Give Archie Watson, Hollie Doyle and himself their first Group One victory when narrowly taking the British Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot.
This term he made his seasonal debut at the Curragh when a weak fourth in the Group Two Greenlands Stakes, but last time out he got back to his best when a close second behind Dream Of Dreams In the Group One sprint event at the Berkshire track.
The owners Hambleton Racing's director Simon Turner said: “He’s just a complete legend of a horse – we were pretty confident he’d strip fitter for his first run at the Curragh, and he was right back to his best.
“It was possibly even a marginal personal best, which is saying something at the age of seven – he ran his heart out.]
“It was a super race – you’d have thought he won, with the ovation his owners gave him when he came back in.
“He’s just given his owners so much pleasure, and we can’t wait for the rest of the season.”
Watson was extremely pleased to see his stable star get back to his best and has now eyed the July Cup as his next target, with the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville also under consideration before he heads back to Ascot looking to defend his British Champions Sprint Stakes title.
“He’ll go to the July Cup next,” said Turner.
“He’s got other Group One options in France, like the Prix Maurice de Gheest – then he’ll go to Haydock for the Haydock Sprint Cup and then the race he won last year at Ascot on Champions Day.
“Those would be the major races that would be at the front of our minds.”