Soldier’s Call on the march in Flying Childers

No catching Archie Watson’s stable star

  • Friday 14 September
  • News
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Soldier’s Call led his rivals a merry dance in the Wainwrights Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster.

The Showcasing colt provided fledgling trainer Archie Watson with his first Royal Ascot success when winning the Windsor Castle Stakes in June, but he had to make do with minor honours behind the impressive Rumble Inthejungle in the Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood.

Soldier’s Call had since won a Group Three in France and was a 4-1 chance for the rematch with Rumble Inthejungle, who was the 3-1 favourite.

It was clear from the start it might be a different story on Town Moor, with Soldier’s Call flying out of the stalls under Danny Tudhope to grab the early lead, while Rumble Inthejungle slightly missed the kick.

Try as they might, the chasing pack could not reel in Watson’s youngster, who galloped all the way to the line to claim the five-furlong Group Two by a shade over two lengths.

Well Done Fox was second, ahead of Gossamer Wings in third, with Rumble Inthejungle tailed off last of nine runners.

Watson, whose charge was given a 10-1 quote by Paddy Power for the Prix de l’Abbaye on Arc day, said: “You’ve got to be delighted. He’s a very, very quick two-year-old. We’ve always held him in very high regard.

“Obviously, Goodwood was a little bit disappointing – but he’s gone out and won a Group Three in a very quick time in France and backed up here within 13 days, and he’s absolutely blitzed them today.

“He’s now a Group Three winner and a Group Two winner – so I think it’s got to be Group Ones.”

Assessing plans, Watson said: “His two options are one or both of the Abbaye, getting the two-year-old allowance at Longchamp on October 6, and the new race at the Breeders’ Cup, the Juvenile Turf Sprint, which is five-and-a-half (furlongs) at Churchill Downs.”

Expanding on a potential Abbaye bid against his elders, Watson said: “He did a quicker time at Chantilly on similar ground than Marsha did when she won the Abbaye there.

“There are lots of good older five-furlong horses around, (but) you’d like to see him getting a shed-load of weight from them and seeing what he can do.

“I think we will do (need a new jockey to do the weight), off 8st 7lb, yes. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

He went on: “Everything went wrong at Goodwood, or a number of things did. You’ve seen at Ascot, Chantilly and here if he gets a good break he’s just impossible to catch.

“The Breeders’ Cup race is five-and-a-half, round a bend. I’ve always felt it will suit the English straight five-furlong type horses – especially with his running style.

“We actually ran Corinthia Knight in it, when it was an under-card race, and we were fourth – and we were beaten by three other Europeans.

“A load of us wrote letters to the Breeders Cup to try to get it upgraded, so I was quite pleased.

“Well, we were pleased at the time we managed to get it upgraded.

“But then it was a case of getting a horse that was good enough to go there – and I’m delighted we’ve got one I hope will be.

“He’s getting bigger and stronger. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t be a proper five-furlong sprinter next year.

“If you were to ask me now where we’d be headed next June, if we were lucky enough to get him to Ascot, I’d say he’d be a King’s Stand horse rather than a Commonwealth Cup horse.”

When asked if jockey Tom Queally could explain the run of the favourite, trainer Richard Spencer said: “Tom had no explanation.”

Soldier’s Call on the march in Flying Childers
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