Triple Time Opens Up Royal Meeting In Style
Patience and faith have been behind Triple Time’s career with the 4yo only seeing the track 6 times in his shirt but impressive career. With Kevin claiming his colt to be one of the very best he has trained, everyone was excited for the son of Frankel to finally test himself at the very top level. Unfortunately he has had to wait but that patience was fully repaid when he took the opening race of the 2023 Royal Ascot meeting, the 1m Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes.
Winning at Listed level in his 2yo career, Triple Time then took Group 3 honours in an interrupted 3yo campaign. Unfortunately when the colt stepped up again in grade, to contest the Group 2 Prix Daniel Wilderstein, he faced very soft ground which was never going to suit. Despite this connections would be aiming for the top level when he returned at 4.
Triple Time had a perfect pre season and was shaping like a proper Group 1 horse. The Lockinge was the first race mapped out for him with Royal Ascot the next stop. Cruel timing once again scuppered his intended first run when Triple Time got a small stomach cramp just before saddling up. Although disappointed not to run, connections were delighted that it was a mere blip as the colt was back home, fighting fit and as well as ever. It was on to Ascot but without a run, not the ideal route to a Group 1 race.
The Queen Anne is the next race for 4yo milers following the Lockinge and half the field would be made up of runners who had ran in the showcase at Newbury. This included the first three home and it was the winner, Modern Games who would go off the 7/4 favourite. Despite being one of the outsiders, Triple Time was quietly fancied to run a big race. Although he had never tried this level, the colt was the most likely to make a big improvement with only the 6 runs behind him.
Neil Callan had donned the yellow silks last year to record a Group 1 victory on Fonteyn and took the ride on Triple Time. He would have his hands full early on but having listened to connections, Callan got everything just right. Jumping well from the gates, Triple Time was initially positioned about 3/4 of the way down the field. The colt then. threw his head into the air and pulled his way through the field. Neil didn’t fight his mount and allowed him to find his rhythm wherever he was happy. Having moved up down the near side of the field, Triple Time ended up sat in second spot, on the heels of the leader.
Once he got his way, and without Neil fighting him, Triple Time settled into a lovely rhythm. It was a nice, even gallop as the 12 runners edged towards the far side of the track, all closely bunched together. The race was set up for a real thriller with all the field racing closely to each other and plenty of room to manoeuvre.
The first real injection of pace came around the 3f maker as the leader went to press on. Modern Games, the fav, had talked the leaders throughout whilst Inspiral had been anchored towards the rear, on the far side of the group. Most eyes were attracted to the market leaders but as the challengers began to wind up, it was suddenly Triple Time who really was the eye-catcher. One of the last to come off the bridle, he had latched on to the leader and started to lengthen under Callan. Once asked, Triple Time quickened up and quickly hit the front as they moved inside the final 2f. The fav had been in his slipstream but could not go with Triple Time. Now it was seeing out the final 1 1/2f and a big push from his rival.
Inspiral had made good headway down the far side of the field and moved through to challenge Triple Time as the pair entered the final furlong. The race looked to be between the front two now as they began to pull away from the rest. Now Triple Time would be given the biggest test of his career, the acid test of his first try at the top level against a three time Gr1 winner. The pair went eyeball to eyeball as Inspiral pressed on and it seems as though the filly had the momentum and would go on. Callan was certainly not settling for that and worked hard in the saddle to get a response. Triple Time not only proved very willing but he was showing his class too. After going toe to toe for 1/2 furlong, the final 50 yards would be the decider. Triple Time found more and kept on well, pulling out a little extra to take the win by a neck, galloping powerfully through the line.
It doesn’t really get much better than to win a Group 1 at Britain’s biggest meeting of the year, to open up Royal Ascot 2023. Obviously winning a Group 1 is special but this win just had a little extra meaning due to the patience and faith shown in Triple Time. For as long he saw the colt work, Kevin has held him in the highest regard. That has never wained but the 4yo has been so unlucky when he has been due to take on these races. It is hard enough to take on the very best horses but to do so whilst conceding race fitness just shows how much ability Triple Time has. He was still open to improvement and proved that he is a high class horse. Obviously he will be campaigned at the highest level now and the Sussex Stakes could be next in line for him. It will be another challenge as later in the yer he will be taking on the best 3yo’s around to add to his rivals. Whatever happens, Triple Time’s victory in the Queen Anne will live long in the memory.