Spartan Fighter given York objective

Had Norfolk winner behind him at Ripon

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Declan Carroll was delighted to see Spartan Fighter’s form receive a significant boost at Royal Ascot on Thursday.

After finishing a promising fourth on his racecourse debut at Carlisle, the Dutch Art colt opened his account at the second attempt at Ripon earlier this month – getting the better of Simon Crisford’s Norfolk Stakes winner A’Ali.

Carroll elected to sidestep the Royal meeting with a horse he feels he is still a work in progress, but is confident the future is bright.

“It was a good boost for the form, obviously, but it didn’t surprise us. We know our horse is a nice horse,” said the Norton-based trainer.

“We did think about taking him to Ascot, but I just felt he was still a little bit immature in his mind – it probably came six weeks too soon.

“He’s a horse I think will progress as the year goes on, but we’ve always liked him and he’s a horse with a lot of talent.”

Considering future plans, Carroll added: “The plan is to take him to York on July 12 for a winners’ race and we’ll see where we go from there.

“I hope we’ll be making some big plans for later in the year. I think he’s a very nice horse in the making.”

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