James Tate saw his decision to drop Far Above back to the minimum trip vindicated with victory in the Betfair Supports Racing Welfare Palace House Stakes at Newmarket.
The son of Fahrr demonstrated why the Newmarket handler was keen to give him a try over five furlongs after proving too quick for his rivals in the Group Three prize.
Racing prominently on the rail from the off, the 7-2 shot continued to pour on the pressure once getting the lead before holding 2018 runner-up Judicial at bay by three-quarters of a length.
Tate said: “I was a bit worried PJ (McDonald) being up there, as I would have preferred him to be fourth or fifth. He is a very fast horse and the fastest I’ve ever had. He is awfully delicate and ideally he likes soft ground as he has won on soft and heavy.
“If we had not got the rain we might not have run and we would have had to go straight to the King’s Stand Stakes, which would be a tall order for a horse with so little experience.
“He won twice over six last season not getting home in my opinion. He was always going to have a go at five furlongs.”
Far Above was given a quote of 12-1 by RaceBets and 14-1 by Coral for the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot – but an outing in the Group One was all but ruled out by Tate.
The trainer said: “All being well we can look at the Group Two at Goodwood, the Nunthorpe, Flying Five and the Abbaye. Ten days is too short of a turnaround for Ascot.”
McDonald said: “I’ve been very excited about this horse from very early on in his career.
“He’s a horse that’s blessed with natural speed and you can see that today on ground that wasn’t ideal for him, so I’m very happy with him.
“Because we’ve been teaching this horse to settle in his races, I just jumped a fraction slower and I had to give him a little squeeze early just to hold my pitch up the inside.
“But once I gave him that squeeze, he was wanting to go on and gave me a great feel.”