Archie Watson is gearing up to send his biggest team to Royal Ascot next week, with King’s Stand Stakes contender Bradsell expected to fly the flag for the Upper Lambourn yard.
Last year’s winner of the Coventry Stakes on only his second start, he has run twice this term since finishing fourth in the Group One Phoenix at the Curragh last August.
Both of those outings have seen him finish third, in the Commonwealth Cup Trial at Ascot and the Sandy Lane at Haydock.
Though each of his five career starts have come over six furlongs, Watson is rolling the dice and going back in trip with the son of Tasleet.
He said: “We supplemented him for the King’s Stand. I thought on both his runs this season he travelled very strongly and shaped like a five-furlong horse. He’s run two very solid races and has really sharpened up.
“That is the route we are going and it is very sporting of Sheikh Nasser to supplement him and I’ve been delighted with him at home. Hopefully, he will have a campaign over five furlongs for the rest of the season.”
In only his seventh full season with a licence, having previously been an assistant to William Haggas, Watson has built a formidable CV which includes Ascot victories in the Windsor Castle Stakes, British Champions Sprint and the Coventry.
Glen Shiel provided Watson with his first Group One winner in 2020, two years after Soldier’s Call had scored in the Windsor Castle. And he will send another top juvenile team to the Berkshire venue, with Army Ethos tackling the Coventry, carrying the same colours as Bradsell for Victorious Racing and Fawzi Nass.
An easy three-and-a-quarter-length winner on debut at Ayr, Watson said: “He is a very nice colt. Ayr was always the plan and he won his race nicely.
“I think a lot of him. Obviously it looks a very strong Coventry on paper with Aidan’s horse (River Tiber), but I’m sure he will run a very good race and then go on to be a proper six-furlong stakes horse this year.”
Action Point, the first winner for first-season sire Blue Point, will run in the Windsor Castle, having won on debut and then finished runner-up to Maximum Impact at Ascot.
Watson said: “He’s a very nice horse, who has come on a lot physically from his last run.
“Reveiller, who won at Salisbury a couple of weekends ago, will go to the Norfolk and Lightning Leo, who won a strong-looking seven-furlong race at Yarmouth, goes to the Chesham, all being well.
“Aaddeey will go to the Copper Horse. He has done nothing wrong and won nicely on his first start for us. He probably would prefer a bit of cut in the ground, but I’m sure it will be lovely racing ground there.
“We are very lucky to have 15 or so horses going there. None of them are going to be favourites. They are 12-1 to 20-1 shots at a minimum, but I’m very happy with them all and they all deserve to be there, so fingers crossed.”