Ascot hero Bradsell ready for Nunthorpe challenge

Bradsell is primed for a York rematch with Highfield Princess in the Group One Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday week.

The pair, trained by Archie Watson and John Quinn respectively, filled the first two places in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, with Bradsell edging the victory by a length in a tight finish to the five-furlong heat.

Bradsell was trying the minimum trip for the first time that day after connections decided to supplement the three-year-old and following the colt’s maiden Group One victory, Watson is certain the fast five furlongs at York will present no issues.

He said: “I don’t see a sharper five furlongs being a problem.

“He travels so well that nothing can really take him far enough into his races. Over the quick five furlongs at York he should get a nice tow deep into the race.”

While Highfield Princess went on to finish third in the six-furlong Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes on the final day of the Royal meeting and subsequently registered an impressive win in the King George Stakes at Goodwood, Watson has kept Bradsell in reserve for his Knavesmire date.

“I would say it’s (his absence) a reflection of the options over five furlongs,” said the trainer.

“He won his Group One at Ascot, so I didn’t feel the need to go to the Group Two at Goodwood, and I wasn’t going to step him back up to six furlongs in between either.

“I have been delighted with him since Ascot. He cantered away in his routine for six weeks and then has been galloping well through August into this race.”

Bradsell won at the first time of asking on good to soft ground at York last May and while he has stuck to sound surfaces since, Watson would not be perturbed should conditions be on the easy side.

He added: “He has obviously got very good form on good and good to firm ground.

“We haven’t deliberately avoided cut in the ground. His maiden win was on good to soft but until we run on proper soft ground we won’t know.

“I never get overly concerned about it until you know that a horse doesn’t handle a certain type of ground. If it rains, it rains.”

Aside from his sprint star, Watson also has Newbury Listed winner Action Point in contention for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes, while Ambushed features in the Goffs UK Harry Beeby Premier Yearling Stakes.

Of Action Point, Watson said: “The flat, quick six furlongs at York should suit him well and I’m looking forward to seeing him up in class as he was impressive last time and is a horse we have always thought a lot of.

“Ambushed won his maiden at Newcastle from a horse of Adrian Keatley’s who was subsequently second in the Richmond Stakes (Ballymount Boy).

“He has plenty of ability and I hope he can run a good race, if the draw and pace set-up are kind. You need plenty of luck in the big-field sales races.”

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