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James Tate considers Queen Anne bid with Top Rank but fears Palace Pier rematch

Top Rank: a decision on his Royal Ascot participation has not been made
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James Tate says planning future targets for Lockinge third Top Rank could prove "a bit tricky" this season with Palace Pier looking the dominant force in the mile division.

Top Rank finished seven lengths behind Palace Pier at Newbury on his first Group 1 start and now faces the prospect of taking on the same rival in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Tate said: "You're never happy if you're not winning but if you'd offered me third on Saturday morning I would have taken it. That was his first attempt at the highest level and I thought he was good."

The son of Dark Angel remains lightly raced for a five-year-old and picked up Group 3 honours when taking the Superior Mile Stakes at Haydock last September.

He won the Listed Doncaster Mile on his reappearance in March and will now be trained with the Queen Anne in mind before Tate makes a decision about his participation closer to the race.

"Planning his schedule now is a bit tricky," Tate added. "I used to look at him and wonder whether he'd get a mile and quarter but now I might be more inclined to drop back to seven if we found the right race. 

"I'm not sure he'd stay the extra trip and I do think he's actually got a bit faster and stronger with age. He's become diverse in terms of ground as well and I think he'd enjoy better going more now. 

"The Queen Anne is the only option coming up in the next month but beyond that there are plenty of other races. We'll get him ready for Ascot, see what sort of field is assembling and whether Palace Pier is in one piece or not and then make the call from there."

Palace Pier (in front): finished seven lengths in front of Top Rank on Saturday

Tate has several British targets in mind for Top Rank later in the season but is reluctant to send him to France under the current coronavirus travel guidelines. 

He added: "We'll see how he is but races like the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot, the Strensall Stakes at York and Park Stakes over seven at Doncaster could also come into the equation. 

"It's difficult with the Covid restrictions because I'd also be looking to go to France with him, but there's issues there because my staff and jockeys can't get there very easily."

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You're never happy if you're not winning but if you'd offered me third on Saturday morning I would have taken it
E.W. Terms