Newmarket trainer James Tate feels New Graduate and Invincible Army are primed to land him first win at Roayl Ascot
James Tate says he is breaking new boundaries and would love to now tick off another milestone by winning at Royal Ascot for the first time.
The Newmarket trainer saddles not one but two favourites at the prestigious five-day meeting, which starts on Tuesday next week.
New Graduate currently heads the ante post market in Wednesday’s Royal Hunt Cup, while Invincible Army heads the market in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, a week on Saturday.
It’s a new position for the 39-year-old, who started at Jamesfield Stables in 2011 with six horses, to be heading into a meeting which is regarded as the pinnacle of the Flat racing calendar.
But with 34 wins to his name already this season, the most recent with Far Above at Windsor on Monday, Tate has a strike-rate only bettered by Charlie Appleby and Sir Michael Stoute.
“It feels very different, full stop,” Tate said. “We’ve been in fantastic form all season; we’ve had wins all over the place.
“It’s the first time for us this year that we’ve got two favourites. Invincible Army in the Diamond Jubilee and New Graduate in the Royal Hunt Cup. Royal Ascot is a really tough place to win but Invincible Army is in great form.
“We’re breaking new boundaries this year, but to get a winner at Royal Ascot, which is the pinnacle of Flat racing, would be fantastic.”
Invincible Army has won both of his starts so far in 2019, landing the Listed Unibet Cammidge Stakes, in March, followed by the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes last month, and is the favourite for the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Tate expects the duo of Inns Of Court and City Light, saddled by French trainers André Fabre and Stéphane Wattel, to provided the sternest test in the six-furlong race.
New Graduate was an impressive winner in his only start so far this season, winning by five-lengths at Ripon in April, and is the 9-1 favourite for the Royal Hunt Cup on Wednesday.
Roger Charlton’s Blue Mist, and David Marane’s Settle For Bay, are the next lowest priced, both at 12-1, while Roger Varian has two runners in Bowerman and Cape Byron who are both 14-1.
* See this week's print edition for Pin Money’s top betting tips for Ascot
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