Triple Time tuned up for a tilt at the Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes with a racecourse gallop down Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Tuesday.
The Kevin Ryan-trained three-year-old was victorious twice last season, taking the Listed Ascendant Stakes over a mile at Haydock on his final outing as a juvenile.
Since then the Frankel colt has been to Redcar for a racecourse gallop, but Ryan wanted to ensure he had some experience of the Newmarket track and so brought him to do a piece of work prior to the opening day of the Craven meeting.
“He has been away to Redcar, but I just felt it was important to give him a feel of the track down here,” he said.
“He’s come from the seven (furlong marker) and really quickened up into the dip and out of it and took a fair bit of pulling up.
“Everything has gone according to plan and Andrea (Atzeni, jockey) was delighted with him, so he’s well on target for the big day.”
Options remain open after the Guineas, with the bay also holding an entry for the Poule d’Essai des Poulains at ParisLongchamp on May 15.
“He’s got options. He’s in the French Guineas, but obviously the Guineas is the best trial for whatever trip you’re going afterwards,” Ryan said.
“He’s a quick horse and doesn’t need a lead horse because he’s such a long-striding horse.
“He likes nice ground, but he’s won on soft ground and we’re not particularly worried about ground conditions either way.
“Andrea was saying how well he’s done from two to three and how much stronger he is. He’s a big unit and it just took a couple of races to get him there – he was a little bit weak and was never as mature as he looked.
“It was a great performance at Haydock and it was always the plan to come here without a prep.”
Also galloping before the first Newmarket meeting of the season was Mark and Charlie Johnston’s Royal Patronage, who worked under Jason Watson with stablemates I’m A Gambler and Highland Premiere.
The Highclere Racing-owned colt won both the Group Three Acomb and the Group Two Royal Lodge last season – finishing in spectacular fashion to beat Coroebus – and currently holds entries for both the Guineas and the Dante at York.
“We’re very happy with that. Sometimes these gallops raise more questions than answers, but whatever he’s going to do it was good to have an outing to blow the cobwebs away and a trip down from Middleham as well,” said Johnston senior.
“Whether he’s going to the Guineas or straight to the Dante, it’s still good to have had a racecourse gallop and there was some question about how much speed he’s got.
“They haven’t hung about there and we wanted to see if he could travel comfortably at that pace and Jason said he travelled very, very easily.
“Harry (Herbert, Highclere racing manager) had said we were going to the Dante and I just wanted to convince myself that we should keep the options open.
“This was the best place to bring him and we’re going to learn a lot about the Guineas opposition in the next week or so, so we can look at that as well.”