22 June 2021

Prix Niel on long-range radar for Tasman Bay

22 June 2021

Sir Mark Todd is considering a trip to ParisLongchamp for the Prix Niel with Tasman Bay after his second-placed finish in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Le Havre colt was beaten only by William Haggas’ Alenquer in the Group Two contest, having started as the outsider of the field of six at a price of 10-1.

A deluge over the Berkshire track left conditions heavy on the day, something Todd felt the three-year-old coped well with in spite of his ground-covering stride.

“We were very pleased, I thought he ran as well as we could have hoped and he just ran into a good one on the day,” the trainer said.

“I think he handled it pretty well, maybe not as well as the winner, but he’s got that big huge stride which I think makes it difficult to quicken. But he coped and proved that he’s a decent horse.”

Tasman Bay – who was narrowly beaten by the well-regarded John Leeper in a Listed affair at Newmarket – will be given time to recuperate before an immediate next target is decided, but the Group Two Prix Niel is pencilled in for what could be one of the final runs of his three-year-old campaign.

He just needs a bit more time to give himself the strength to really handle himself

“We’re mulling things over at the moment, he knew he’d had a race so we’ll just give him a few days to get over that and then we’ll have a think,” Todd said.

“I’m not quite sure where we’ll go yet, but long term we’re probably aiming to race in France and maybe go for the Prix Niel, what we do before that we haven’t quite decided.

“I think next year he’s going to be a better horse, we don’t want to overcook him this year.

“He’s had four runs now, we might end up only doing another couple of runs with him (this season).

“We’ll see how he takes it, he’s progressing through the season and he’s like a great big teenager, he looks big and strong but he’s got such a big body that he just needs a bit more time to give himself the strength to really handle himself.”

Tasman Bay has become a flag bearer for Todd’s yard since the gold medal-winning Olympian took out his training licence in 2019 following his retirement from three-day eventing.

“I’ve been very lucky having a horse like him to make these choices with, I’m very thankful to Sir Peter Vela (owner) for putting him with us,” he said.

“We’ve had a bit more interest in the yard since he ran at Ascot which is great.”

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