Tate targets Dewhurst
James Tate is eyeing a tilt at the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes with Invincible Strike after his impressive racecourse debut at Hamilton.
The Newmarket-based rookie only began his training career a couple of seasons ago, but has quickly established himself as one of the sport's most talented young handlers, proving a particularly potent force in the two-year-old division.
The latest Tate youngster to take to the racecourse was an expensive purchase at 145,000 euros and was sent off at 11-4 shot as he met five fellow newcomers in the EBF Stallions Walter Glynn's "Ludicrous" Debutants' Maiden Stakes.
With odds-on favourite Quickaswecan cutting out the running, Paul Mulrennan made his move a furlong out aboard Invincible Strike and the response was impressive.
Tate's charge showed smart acceleration to run on and secure a two-and-a-half-length verdict, igniting the trainer's dreams of Group One glory in the Dewhurst at Newmarket on October 12.
Tate said: "He's my most expensive inmate at 145,000 euros, so I'm very pleased he's been able to make a winning start. We've had lots of two-year-old winners this year, but he's actually my first two-year-old that has won first time out. Mine normally come on for a run, so for him to win on his first run is pretty exciting.
"I think we'll look to step him up to seven furlongs now and the dream is the Dewhurst. He would have to be supplemented, as we hadn't bought him in time to enter him, but you have to dream in this game.
"He will have to have another run before that and the seven-furlong Listed race at Doncaster, the Flying Scotsman Stakes (September 13), would be an obvious target.
"The Somerville Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket (September 26) would be another option, so we'll see how we go."
Mark Johnston struck gold in the most valuable event of the afternoon as Wellingrove proved much too good for his opponents in the Taggarts Motor Group Scottish Trophy Handicap.
Ridden by Joe Fanning, who was fresh from a treble at Catterick on Wednesday, the 9-2 shot had victory sewn up from halfway up the home straight and only had to be pushed out close home to score by two lengths from Spes Notra.
St Ignatius (100-30 favourite) benefited from a fine front-running ride from Robert Winston when making virtually every yard in the Prestige Scotland Handicap.
Winning trainer Alan Bailey said: "I'm delighted for the horse. What he needs is a good pace as he's not the kind of horse who will quicken up, he just wants to wind it up slowly.
"Once he get to the front he's a horse to pass, as he showed today. We might go jumping with him now, but he does want fast ground."
Baron Run (9-4) opened his account at the ninth attempt in the Griffiths & Armour Maiden Stakes under apprentice Joey Haynes.
Karl Burke's three-year-old was beginning to look exposed, but took a step forward to clinch victory by a length and a half from Hanalei Bay.
Burke said: "He's been of a bit of a disappointing horse, to be honest. He's always shown a lot of ability at home, but he's not really done it on the track.
"He's a bit of a fractious and nervous horse and hopefully now he's turned the corner, but we'll see. I don't think it was a very strong race, so we won't be getting too excited."
Alan Berry's Bix (9-1) secured his second win at the Lanarkshire track in the DM Hall Handicap, partnered by Graham Lee.
Ollie Pears-trained 2-7 favourite Last Sovereign scraped home by a head in the Taggarts Peugeot Claiming Stakes, while the concluding Taggarts Nissan "Hands & Heels" Apprentice Series Handicap went to 7-2 joint-favourite Cheers Buddy.