Glen Shiel will head next for the July Cup at Newmarket after his gallant second in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
The seven-year-old ran admirably to finish a length behind Sir Michael Stoute’s big-race favourite Dream Of Dreams on Saturday.
Owners Hambleton Racing were thrilled with the Archie Watson-trained gelding, and now have a string of further Group One targets to look forward to this season.
“He’s just a complete legend of a horse – we were pretty confident he’d strip fitter for his first run at the Curragh, and he was right back to his best,” said the owners’ racing director Simon Turner.
“It was possibly even a marginal personal best, which is saying something at the age of seven – he ran his heart out.
“It was a super race – you’d have thought he won, with the ovation his owners gave him when he came back in.
“He’s just given his owners so much pleasure, and we can’t wait for the rest of the season.”
The July Cup will be next, with a trip to Deauville for the Prix Maurice de Gheest also under consideration before a bid to retain his Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes crown.
“He’ll go to the July Cup next,” said Turner.
“He’s got other Group One options in France, like the Prix Maurice de Gheest – then he’ll go to Haydock for the Haydock Sprint Cup and then the race he won last year at Ascot on Champions Day.
“Those would be the major races that would be at the front of our minds.”
Glen Shiel has been a model of consistency since specialising in sprint distances and has been unplaced just once when running over a six-furlong trip, in fourth on his first start of this season at the Curragh last month.
“If you look at him since he dropped to six furlongs and started sprinting, he’s never been far away,” added Turner.
“He really thrives on his racing, this horse. He deserved a break after last year, and I think Archie just felt he’d need that run (at the Curragh) just to get him right back to where he wanted him.
“He’s a super consistent horse and he’s just been a brilliant acquisition for us, to say we only paid £45,000 for him.
“He’s just been a super horse, and there’s nothing to say he won’t be just as good for the rest of the year, so we’ve loads to look forward to.”