Sceptical is likely to return to England in a bid for sprint honours at the top level following his narrow defeat in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Denis Hogan’s highly-progressive four-year-old was cut down only in the dying strides when a close third to Hello Youmzain in Saturday’s Group One over six furlongs after leading in the final furlong under Frankie Dettori.
Hogan will look at the Darley July Cup and the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes for his unlikely stable star. Sceptical showed he can mix it with the very best after his whirlwind rise from maiden winner in November to being the highest-rated speedster in Ireland, with four wins on the bounce before his Royal Ascot adventure.
“It was bitter sweet, I suppose,” said Hogan.
“It could have been a brilliant day, but it was still a great day in fairness.
“He did himself proud and he’ll be back again.
“We’ll see about the July Cup and Nunthorpe. He’s in the Greenlands next Sunday (at the Curragh), but I’d imagine that will come too soon.
“We’ll give him a chance, because he’s been busy enough.”
Hogan could still be represented in the Group Two Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes with Make A Challenge if ground conditions are suitable.
Make A Challenge powered to victory in the Listed Sole Power Sprint Stakes at Naas on Saturday, on only his second start since he finished fifth to Donjuan Triumphant in the Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October.
“Make A Challenge went super at Naas, and if it’s on the slow side he could go to the Greenlands,” said the County Tipperary trainer.
“He came out of his race well.”