Group 1 wins are the pinnacle of our sport but sometimes they do come with small caveat. Triple Time took the prestigious Queen Anne at Royal Ascot, catapulting him into one of the stars of the mile division. Although this was a huge highlight of the 2023 season, it did also mean that it cemented his future as a stallion and 4yo colt would soon be leaving Hambleton Lodge for pastures new.
The son of Frankel hails from a family packed with high class winners. His dam, Reem Three, has produced 7 pattern performers including group 1 winners. Triple Time always carried himself as a horse who could have a bright future, with the size and scope to thrive throughout his racing career.
Placed on his first two runs, it wasn’t until he stepped up to a mile that he really thrived. Shedding his maiden tag by 9 1/2 lengths showed what class he had but then he went and earned the all important pattern success. Making most of the running, Triple Time powered home to take the Listed Ascendant stakes at Haydock. Although there were options following that win to take a further step up in grade, connections decided to wait for his 3yo, where classic ambitions would held.
Thriving through the winter, Triple Time really developed into a wonderful specimen and looked to be improving all the time. All roads led to the 2000 Guineas and he was impressing everyone in his work leading up to the contest. With no prep run it was decided to take Triple Time down to Newmarket for piece of work, to get him used to the tracks characteristics. Again he impressed in what he was asked to do but unfortunately a small issue found following that gallop which would rule him out of the classic bids.
Patience proved key and Triple Time would return to action in September, back at Haydock, the scene of his listed win the previous year. Stepping up to group 3 level for the Superior Mile, he was a short priced favourite to make a winning return. Triple Time did just that and after racing quite keen in the early stages, he swept past his rivals a long way from home, running out a comfortable winner. Unfortunately he couldn’t build on that performance when tackling very soft ground at Longchamp but it bode well for his 4yo campaign.
The Lockinge is the start of the older miler’s season. This was always going to be his first run, before heading to Royal Ascot and it would be a good barometer of where he stacked up against the best milers. Unfortunately, always with perfect timing, he had to be withdrawn on the day which would mean he would head straight to Ascot without a run under his belt.
The Queen Anne opens the Royal meeting and Triple Time would finally have his chance at group 1 level. Everything had gone smoothly leading up to the contest but he would be taking on multiple group 1 winners, without the benefit of a run. Nevertheless there was confidence that he should be at home in this company and with Neil Callan on board, the 4yo would have to overcome freshness to prevail. Early on it looked as though he may try to be too keen but once Callan got the colt settled, he raced in a lovely rhythm just on the leader’s coattails. The race could not have panned out any better with a nice gallop to chase it allowed Triple Time to stride out. From a way out the favourite was struggling and it was Triple Time who head into the final 2f travelling powerfully. He came through to challenge and took the lead as they bared down on the final furlong. With the majority of his rivals floundering in behind it was left to the superstar filly, Inspiral, to throw down one last challenge. The pair fought tooth and nail throughout the final furlong, with Inspiral looking the most likely winner all along. Triple Time dug deep and showed tremendous tenacity to find more and overawed his rival with a game performance, leading to an enthusiastic celebration from his jockey Neil Callan.
Triple Time was unfortunate to not have a long season this year but mother nature ensured that a washout during the summer would work against him. It was only an 8 race career but Triple Time managed to pack plenty into those races and secured his Group 1, something which was deserved for the ability he had. From day one Kevin had faith that he would be something special so that day at Ascot was justification. It is also fantastic for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum who not only owned the colt but bred him too. With his stature and ability, there is no doubt that Triple Time has every chance of making a name for himself in the stallions ranks. Hopefully one day we may see his progeny emulate his success on the racecourse, to even surpass him.