Triple Time looks set to bypass the Qipco Sussex Stakes and head to France for the Prix Jacques le Marois after his impressive success in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot.
A son of Frankel, the Kevin Ryan-trained colt won two of his four starts as a juvenile but was limited to two outings last year, winning the Group Three Superior Stakes in September before finishing seventh in the Prix Daniel Wildenstein on Arc weekend.
Having been a late withdrawal from the Lockinge Stakes with a stomach cramp and having his first run since October, the 33-1 shot overcame a 262-day break to beat a strong field at Ascot, which included top-class winners Inspiral, Modern Games, Angel Bleu and Native Trail.
Under Neil Callan, the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum-owned colt had a neck to spare over Inspiral, whose connections are similarly eyeing a trip to Deauville, where the filly could bid to win the race for a second year in succession.
Adam Ryan, son and assistant to the Hambleton trainer, said: “Triple Time has come out of the race absolutely fine and done very well.
“It was his first run of the year and so he’d be entitled to come on for that as well. It was impressive what he did.
“To do that after such a long time off, not only to do that against Group One horses, but horses who’d had a run under their belt, was great.”
Though Triple Time holds an entry in the Sussex Stakes and is currently the general third-favourite behind Paddington and Inspiral, connections are keen on the August 12 Group One contest over a mile at Deauville instead.
“I think we are probably leaning towards the France and the Prix Jacques le Marois,” said Ryan. “It’s nice timing between races and it will be more of a conventional track as well. He is obviously in the Sussex, as it was an early-closing race.
“It is tough because you have to make the entries, but at the same time it is never firmed up, because of ground etc. Horses map their own way out. Group One horses, we all know the races for them.”
The North Yorkshire yard is no stranger to heading abroad and Triple Time’s success earned him an expenses-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November, courtesy of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
The Ryans finished second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf with East in 2018 and gained a first success at the meeting two years later when Glass Slippers struck in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
Asked of the prospect of sending Triple Time Stateside at the end of the season, Ryan added: “Through all the years we’ve sent a few runners and obviously have had some success. The thing is with Triple Time, he’ll be a stallion for the future now and it is something you have to discuss with connections.
“You have races like the QEII around the same time and is it better to go there (Ascot) on a track you know, without all the travel. Those sort of decisions are for the people above my pay grade.
“It is nice to have those sort of options to talk about. The good thing is he has that Group One win under his belt and everything is a bonus.
“You want to see him as an absolute star, but we’ve got the most important hurdle out of the way now. He’s proved he’s up to that calibre.”
Ryan also confirmed last season’s Group One Sun Chariot winner Fonteyn has been retired.
The daughter of Farhh won the Listed Michael Seely Memorial at York and ended her career in style when beating Laurel at Newmarket in October.
Ryan said: “Fonteyn retired after her last run. Going into this year there were only a couple of fillies-only Group Ones for her here and she wasn’t the best of travellers, so that scuppers any chance of going to France or Ireland.
“We were very limited, so we discussed with Sheikh Obaid and the best option was to retire her and go out on a high.”