Martyn Meade is dreaming of Gold Cup glory with Technician at Royal Ascot next summer, after the progressive three-old stayer landed a first Group One success in the Prix Royal-Oak at ParisLongchamp.
The colt has gone into his winter quarters as a potential leading contender for honours in 2020’s long-distance division thanks to completing a book of Pattern-race victories this season with an authoritative performance against older horses on Sunday.
Meade said: “It was fantastic.
“He’s done really well this season, going from winning a Listed, a Group Three Group Two and now finally a Group One – a pretty good achievement for him.
“In the circumstances – a three-year-old in that type of ground and against older horses – it was pretty convincing, the way he did it.
“He finished the race really well. I was thrilled to bits with him.”
Although Technician has shown he can handle testing ground, Meade feels the son of Mastercraftsman should not be classed as a mere mud-lover.
“I was a bit reluctant about the ground,” said the Manton trainer.
“I thought it was a bit too soft, but he coped with it.
“To be fair to him, he’s run some good races on good ground as well. I wouldn’t like him to be thought of as a soft-ground specialist.
“He has fantastic stamina and he was pulling away from the opposition yesterday. He’s a two-mile horse and will do nothing but strengthen up for next year, so it’s a very exciting prospect.
“He’s had a busy campaign, so I was worried about that race being one too many for him. But it proved not to be, so we’ll put him away now and think about when we can do with him next year.”
Meade believes Technician will be suited by Ascot and the extreme distance of two and a half miles.
“I’d have thought the Gold Cup would be right up his street,” he said.
“We’ll be aiming at that and just hope we’ve got some nice ground there, and I think a track like Ascot would suit him.
“His only bad race this year was Goodwood. He didn’t cope with the undulations of the track. Having said that, he will have grown up and be much stronger next year.
“He may have just one prep run before the Gold Cup – it just depends. He’s a straightforward horse, so I’m not worried about getting him ready first time for a big one.
“We’ve got all the facilities, although (he may have) something like a racecourse gallop just to sharpen him up a bit.”