James Tate is keeping his fingers crossed Invincible Army can rediscover the winning touch by claiming the first Group One of his career in the Sprint Cup at Haydock.
The Newmarket handler has earmarked the six-furlong contest on September 7 as the four-year-old’s next target rather than the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York.
Having claimed victories at both Group Two and Three level this season, the son of Invincible Spirit suffered a third defeat at the top level on his most recent start, when finishing down the field in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville
Tate said: “It just didn’t happen for him in France for whatever reason. The ground was quicker than he would have liked, it was his first time travelling and he also got a bump into the side of him , which didn’t help.
“We will regroup in the Sprint Cup. We have left him in the Nunthorpe, but Haydock is where he will go.
“When things work out on the day, he is a very classy horse – but like a lot of sprinters, when things don’t work or it doesn’t suit them, it doesn’t take much for them not to perform.”
Ground conditions will dictate if both Under The Stars and Nasaiym step up to Group Two company in the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at the Knavesmire next week.
Tate said: “Under The Stars is definitely Lowther-bound and Nasaiym might join her, but she has other options in a six-furlong Listed race at Ripon later in the month and in the Dick Poole at Salisbury.
“It will depend on the ground as I don’t think Nasaiym enjoyed the soft ground at Newbury, whereas Under The Stars has won on quick and good to soft, and after her last win you would probably want a bit of ease in the ground.”
After making the most of drop in class at Chelmsford last Friday, a return to Listed company beckons for Dream Shot at York on Saturday week, with Tate identifying the Julia Graves Roses Stakes his next port of call.
Tate said: “I don’t think he quite sees six furlongs out as well as five having watched his last couple of runs.
“He was second in a Listed race to Liberty Beach at Sandown earlier on and we will be looking to see if he can replicate that sort of form.”