Soldier's Call has King's Stand target

Watson sets sights on Royal Ascot again

  • Sunday 24 February
  • News
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Archie Watson hopes Soldier’s Call can make it back-to-back wins at Royal Ascot by claiming a first top-level victory in the King’s Stand Stakes.

The Lambourn handler has first earmarked an outing in the Listed Westow Stakes at York in May for the son of Showcasing, who ended last season finishing down the field in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs.

After providing Watson with his first winner at the Royal meeting in the Windsor Castle Stakes, the Clipper Logistics-owned three-year-old subsequently claimed victories at Group Three and Two level – as well as finishing third on his first start at the top table in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

Watson said: “Soldier’s Call is back in with me, and I’m very happy with him. He went back to his owners and has done very well – and I think he has strengthened up.

“He has got a very good mind on him and has gone straight back into a routine very easily.

“We will probably kick him off in the at the Dante meeting at York in the Westow Stakes, with a view to run him in the King’s Stand Stakes a month later.

“I would prefer to start to him off in an easier race against his own age group rather than run him in the Palace House Stakes or Temple Stakes, where he might have a hard race.”

Watson is leaning towards making the Lingfield Derby Trial the starting point for last year’s Chesham Stakes runner-up Nate The Great, who was last sighted finishing third in the Zetland Stakes at Newmarket in October.

He added: “He has had a great break and is most likely to start off in the Lingfield Derby Trial, because I think he needs a mile and a half.

“I’d like to go back to Royal Ascot with him – and I’m hoping he will develop into a Queen’s Vase horse, because I think he could be a nice staying type.”

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