Group 1s all the way now for James Tate's Duke of York Stakes winner Invincible Army
After Invincible Army’s impressive Duke of York Stakes victory last week, Newmarket trainer James Tate is hopeful this will be the year that the colt breaks his Group 1 duck.
Invincible Army had come up short at the top level aged two and three, but on his second outing as a four-year-old on Wednesday, he produced his best performance to date by winning the Group 2 contest at York in comfortable fashion.
Neither of his parents – Invincible Spirit and Rajeem – won a Group 1 race until they turned four, and Hamilton Road-based Tate is looking for their offspring to follow suit.
“That has to be his best performance yet,” said the Jamesfield Place trainer. “He is now the convincing winner of a Group 2 against a lot of talented horses. He has left some Group 1-winning horses several lengths behind him.
“He has such a different mentality this year. He strolls around before races rather than acting like a two-ear-old, jumping around and causing mayhem.
“He is never nervous either, he just saves all his energy for the race.
“His sire did not win a Group 1 until he was four and neither did his dam, so maybe we should not be surprised that it has taken until now for him to show his very best. It will be Group 1s all the way from here.”
Bookmakers reacted to that dominant triumph by making Invincible Army the favourite for next month’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Tate intends to keep his stable star wrapped up until then, with outings at Haydock and another at Ascot also pencilled in for later in the year.
“He is a valuable stallion prospect now that the Group 2 box has been ticked,” added Tate. “He runs well fresh so we will not be dancing every dance.
“We love all of the horses in the yard but to have one this special is a big buzz.
“He will go straight for the Diamond Stakes and then the Haydock Park Sprint and the Champions Sprint back at Ascot.”