Andrew Balding is considering a potential tilt at the Qipco Champion Stakes with Foxes Tales following the three-year-old’s gritty victory in an attritional renewal of the MansionBet Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock.
With likely market leader Real World one of three non-runners because of the rain-softened ground, Foxes Tales was the 5-4 favourite in the hands of Silvestre de Sousa.
Majestic Dawn led the six runners into the home straight, with last year’s winner Extra Elusive initially his nearest pursuer – racing nearest to the stands rail under Hollie Doyle.
However, Extra Elusive faded tamely – while Majestic Dawn did his best to fend off the challenges of both Foxes Tales and eventual runner-up Fancy Man.
In the end, Majestic Dawn had to give best – with Foxes Tales finishing strongest to land Group Three victory by three-quarters of a length.
Balding said: “It was an excellent performance – he gritted it out well and he’s a horse who’s improving and should hopefully have a good future.
“He showed his class today, and I think he was well on top at the end. Although he was the first one off the bridle, he really found for pressure – which was great.
“His options are going to be a little bit tight moving forward. But he’s in the Champion Stakes at the end of the year, which is a possibility after showing he can handle that kind of ground today.
“That would be another big step up in class, so we’ll find something between now and then – hopefully a Group Two race somewhere.”