Basking in the afterglow of his second top-level success, Ed Walker is staying closer to home with Dreamloper, who sailed to a two-length success in the Prix D’Ispahan at ParisLongchamp.
The Upper Lambourn handler, who won the July Cup last year with Starman, quickly secured the second Group One of his career, as the daughter of Lope De Vega followed up her Dahlia Stakes success on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on her seasonal return.
Having won over nine furlongs the last twice, Walker is now mulling over which path to take before stepping up in trip and heading to Goodwood for the Nassau Stakes in August.
“She is good and is in great form,” said Walker. “She has only two options, really. The Nassau is the main target, but it is a case of what we do between now and then – it is either the Pretty Polly at the Curragh or the Falmouth at Newmarket.
“I think we will probably end up going in the Falmouth, rather than travelling her all the way to the Curragh for a stiff 10 furlongs.
“I think the Nassau would probably suit her more than the Curragh when she goes over 10 furlongs. Those are our two options on the way to Goodwood, which I think will really suit her, and I think we will probably end up going to Newmarket.”
Having beaten the boys last time out, there is plenty to look forward to as she bids to add to her laurels this season, with a return trip to France pencilled on the calendar later in the year.
“The Prix Rothschild and the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville are options later on,” added Walker, who feels Dreamloper is not ground-dependent.
“It was pretty quick ground at Longchamp. She is quite versatile, really. She ran very well in the Sun Chariot (when third to Saffron Beach at Newmarket last October) on quite soft ground.”
For Walker, who started training in October 2010 when he rented a small 24 box yard within St Gatien Stables in Newmarket, competing and winning at the top level is now becoming second nature.
Yet he is also quick to praise jockey Kieran Shoemark, who was similarly celebrating his second Group One, having taken the Nassau Stakes last season with Lady Bowthorpe.
“I think getting that Group One monkey off the back was obviously a big thing and it is great to back it up relatively quickly,” he added.
“It was great for Kieran as well – it was only his second Group One. I am very pleased for him, he is a very good jockey.”
Walker is now looking ahead to next week’s Royal meeting. Chief among them is Great Ambassador, who has not been seen since chasing home Bielsa in the Ayr Gold Cup last September.
“Our biggest hopes at Ascot would probably be Great Ambassador in the Platinum Jubilee,” said Walker.
“He is well and has not run this year, so it is quite a big ask going straight to that. He has had a few niggling setbacks which have been a bit frustrating, but he is very well.
“Popmaster is in the Wokingham and Primo Bacio will work and after that we will know whether she goes for the Duke of Cambridge.”