GBI RACING

Raymond Tusk expected to make the grade following Eclipse run

Raymond Tusk in winning action at Newbury

Connections of Raymond Tusk still have high hopes for the three-year-old after he was far from disgraced in the Coral-Eclipse on his third start.

The Richard Hannon-trained colt may not have troubled the principals when sixth of seven behind Roaring Lion in the Sandown Group One over a mile and a quarter, but it was by no means a failed mission.

A step up in distance is now on the cards, with the Glasgow Stakes or the Great Voltigeur Stakes a possible next port of call before hopefully having another crack at the top level.

“We were delighted with the other run the other day. Either he is a Group Three or Two kind of horse or he wants a bit further,” said Tim Palin, owner Middleham Park’s director of racing.

“At the minute we’re keeping our optimistic hat on and we can probably make him into a Group One horse, but he probably needs a mile and a half and he definitely needs softer ground.

“He is a Group horse, but we’re still working out what number that is – three, two or one.

“We haven’t got a firm plan for him.

“We’ve popped him in the Glasgow Stakes at Hamilton on Friday and he’s in the Voltigeur. We could also try to find a race for him abroad.”

Middleham Park have aspirations Raymond Tusk may develop into a contender for the William Hill St Leger at Doncaster in September.

“We’ve got one eye on the St Leger. Stepping him up in trip might lead us in that direction,” said Palin.

“He is in a Group One in Germany over a mile and a half at the end of September.

“He’s still in the Arc, but that may be a bridge too far at the moment.

“He’s been given a rating of 106. If he could improve 5lb or 6lb that would put him in the mix for the St Leger. We just need to see what his trip his.”

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