A second assault on the valuable and prestigious Ebor Handicap at York’s high-profile August fixture could well be on the cards for the talented staying handicapper, Tactician, who ran with such credit when a brave second to Moyenne Corniche, in the 2011 renewal of the mile-and-three-quarter showcase contest, writes Elliot Slater.
Tactician began the race as a 9/1 bet in the York Ebor odds.
Owned by Her Majesty the Queen, Tactician showed progressive form, last season, kicking off with a rock solid second to Yorgunnabelucky in a valuable handicap at Newmarket, last May, where he failed by only half a length to peg back the in-form winner.
Raised 3lbs to a new mark of 97, the Michael Bell-trained son of Motivator then headed to the Knavesmire, in July, where he put up a fine display to get the better of the subsequently smart but ill-fated performer, Fox Hunt, to win the listed John Smith’s Silver Cup in the manner of a useful performer.
There was plenty of popular support amongst the vast throng of York racegoers for the royal runner, when he took his chance in the Betfred Ebor, last August.
The booking of Joseph O’Brien really caught the eye, and even though his saddle began to slip back even before the 20-runner field entered the home straight, Tactician, made good headway under the Irish teenager, to hold every chance at the furlong from home marker.
Despite O’Brien’s best efforts, and with the York crowd screaming him on, Bell’s charge couldn’t hold the late burst of the Brian Ellison-trained, Moyenne Corniche, but in being beaten just a length with a slipping saddle, he nonetheless recorded a noteworthy performance.
Stepped up to two-and-a-quarter-miles for the Group 2 Doncaster Cup, a few weeks later, The Queen’s gelding failed to stay, and was eased when beaten.
However, at this term at around 14 furlongs, he looks one to keep on the right side; a repeat bid for the Ebor Handicap, as well as races such as the Northumberland Plate and Irish St Leger, would not be at all out of the question.