Rebel Tale is likely to head to Leopardstown next month following his narrow defeat in the Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.
Andrew Slattery’s juvenile was a largely unconsidered 50-1 shot for the seven-furlong Group Two on Friday evening, having finished third on each of his two starts since opening his account at Navan in May.
However, the American-bred colt outran those odds to fill the runner-up spot behind Aidan O’Brien’s odds-on favourite Armory – emphatically turning the tables on the Ger Lyons-trained Justifier, who had beaten Rebel Tale in the Caravaggio Stakes at Tipperary 12 days earlier.
“We were thrilled how he ran, and he seems to have come out of the race in good shape,” said Slattery.
“He’s a horse who is improving the whole time. Even though he won his maiden in May, he wasn’t an early two-year-old – he’s still developing physically.
“He’d had a bit of a break before he ran in Tipperary, and he probably needed that run. We were hopeful we’d get a bit closer to the winner (this time), and it was great to see him turn that form around.
“I wasn’t surprised to see him run well, but I suppose it was a surprise to see him get as close as he did to such a promising horse – who is near the head of the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas.”
Slattery is eyeing the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes on September 14 as a likely next target.
The Thurles trainer added: “We’ve been happy with him since the race, and he might go to Leopardstown next for the Group Two over a mile on Irish Champions Weekend.”