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David Probert has plenty of faith in Tip Two Win

17 Jun 2018

The QIPCO 2000 Guineas runner-up features among a field of ten for the St James's Palace Stakes.

Tip Two Win

David Probert believes Tip Two Win has the attributes needed to win the St James’s Palace Stakes (4.20) at Royal Ascot on Tuesday and in the process provide himself, trainer Roger Teal and proud owner Anne Cowley with a landmark victory.

Neither jockey, trainer or owner have had a domestic Group 1 success but Tip Two Win came close to hitting the jackpot for them when finishing runner-up to Saxon Warrior in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas at Newmarket last month after being sent off at 50/1.

The form is proving strong with Masar, who was third, subsequently winning the Investec Derby, and Roaring Wild, who was fifth, being the easy winner of the Dante Stakes next time before himself finishing third in the premier Epsom Classic.

“He’s not a very big horse but he’s got a big heart and a big stride and he goes there in very good order,” Probert said ahead of a race that forms part of the Mile Category of the QIPCO British Champions Series. “We’ve got experience on our side, he travels good and he’s a got a good turn of foot.

“I’ve never really sat on a horse that it is so hard to get to the bottom of. Whenever you go past the line you think ‘he’ll give me more if I ask him’. He responded well at Newmarket – we just came up against a very good winner, plus the dips and ridges probably caught us out. We are not going to get that at Ascot and the track there will suit him.

“As a two-year-old he was pretty exciting but he’s come on in leaps and bounds over the winter. He’s matured mentally and, while he’s not biggest, he’s filled out in his neck and in his quarters. He feels like the horse he should be with more improvement to come.”

Probert, 29, grew up in Bargoed, a small Welsh town in the Rhymney Valley. He shared the apprentices’ title with William Buick in 2008 but is yet to win a QIPCO British Champions Series race. His sole Royal Ascot triumph came in 2014 aboard Born In Bombay in the Britannia Stakes.

“It’s hard to get these rides in the top races and when opportunities like this come along you have to make as few mistakes as possible and think about the positives, rather than the negatives.

“We’ve got a lot of people backing us and Tip Two Win is pretty popular – I noticed the other day he now even has his own Facebook page. If he can get his head in front and a Group 1 under belt it will be a big achievement for me, Roger and all his team, who would deserve it.”

Without Parole is the one runner in the line-up with an unblemished record and is the rival Probert fears most, although the John Gosden-trained Frankel colt had to dig deep to repel Gabr, who reopposes, in the Matchbook-sponsored Heron Stakes at Sandown last month.

In the past 50 years, a dozen Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas winners have gone on to win the St James’s Palace Stakes and Romanised, trained by Ken Condon, seeks to add his name to the list after his decisive defeat of U S Navy Flag and Gustav Klimt, both trained by Aidan O’Brien, at the Curragh.

O’Brien has won the £500,000 feature, which forms part of the Mile division of the QIPCO British Champions Series, on seven occasions via Giant’s Causeway (2000), Black Minnaloushe (2001), Rock of Gibraltar (2002), Excellent Art (2007), Henrythenavigator (2008), Mastercraftsman (2009) and Gleneagles (2015).

Henri-Alex Pantall’s Wootton, who surrendered his unbeaten record when fourth in the Poule D’Essai Des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), will fly the flag for France, while Chilean has been supplemented, having not seemed to quite last home when fourth in the Bet365 Classic Trial on soft ground at Sandown last time. Kings Shield and Threeandfourpence complete the ten-runner line-up.