Tactical, a three-year-old colt who is owned and was bred by The Queen, put on a strong display to win at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile this afternoon (14 April).
In what has been a sad week, following the death of the Duke of Edinburgh, Tactical fended off his rivals in the seven-furlong Listed bet365 European Free Handicap under former champion jockey Oisin Murphy for trainer Andrew Balding.
The son of Toronado, who went off at 5/1, looked like he was going to be boxed in by his rivals, until a gap appeared on the rail. Oisin took advantage of it and went on to win by a neck over the 2/1 favourite Naval Crown, who was ridden in the Godolphin silks by William Buick for trainer Charlie Appleby.
Oisin said to Racing TV after the race: “My thoughts are with Her Majesty The Queen and the royal family at the moment. This horse is clearly very tough — he’d been working very well at home and Andrew was very happy with him.
“I had in the back of my mind not to ask him out [of the stalls] too quickly, particularly at seven furlongs and with it being his first run of the year and him being quite fresh, and as a result I landed in behind a few horses.
“When that happened, I was always going to be a hostage to fortune. After the three [furlong pole], I tried to come out left around Adam Kirby’s heels, but he kept me in and I had to switch back in. It’s rare you can make an error like that and still win, so thanks to Tactical for getting me out of trouble.”
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Tactical won the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Group Two Tattersalls July Stakes at Newmarket last summer, but his form had since tailed off, so this victory was a welcome and timely return to winning ways.
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