Archie Watson mulling Nunthorpe option for Soldier’s Call

Trainer still considering York Group One despite Goodwood defeat

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Archie Watson is not ruling out letting Soldier’s Call take on his elders in the Coolmore Nunthorpe despite his defeat at Goodwood last week.

The Showcasing colt provided his trainer with a first Royal Ascot triumph when claiming the Windsor Castle Stakes, but could finish only third when a hot favourite to follow up in the Molecomb Stakes last Wednesday.

Watson feels his stable star did not enjoy the rub of the green at Goodwood and is confident he can bounce back to winning ways in due course.

He said: “He jumped left coming out of the stalls and bumped the winner and it kind of knocked Danny (Tudhope) off balance.

“I think in those five-furlong races nothing can go wrong. I still think he ran a very good race. He probably didn’t look overly comfortable coming down the downhill sections of the course.

“He has got plenty of speed. We will stick to five furlongs, with the Breeders’ Cup being the aim the end of the season.

“We’ve still got three weeks before the Nunthorpe, but it is quite important to make him a Group winner and if there are other easier options, we might look elsewhere. I’ve not made the final decision yet.”

Watson also provided updates on Nate The Great and Federal Law.

Nate The Great was beaten just a neck by Arthur Kitt in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot and returned to the Berkshire circuit to finish third in the Listed Pat Eddery Stakes last month.

Watson added: “I’m very happy with him. He will step up to a mile and even those mile-and-a-quarter races at the end of the year will suit him.

“The Criterium de Saint-Cloud has to be at the back of your mind. You’ve got the Zetland Stakes (at Newmarket) in October. If he was to go and win a Zetland, you would have to think about the French race.

“You might see him at Salisbury in the Stonehenge in three weeks’ time. It is a nice stiff mile and he has come out of his last race well.”

Having opened his account at the second attempt at Salisbury, the Qatar Racing-owned Federal Law could only finish seventh in last week’s Vintage Stakes at Goodwood.

“I think he wants a mile already. Goodwood is a sharp track and they went very quick,” said the Lambourn-based trainer.

“He was probably just out of his comfort zone there on the undulations. We might even drop him back into a novice over a mile round a bend with a view to taking him abroad, but we will see.”

Archie Watson mulling Nunthorpe option for Soldier’s Call
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