Barron mulls Pearl Secret switch

Pearl Secret made all the running to take Listed honours in the Betfred Beverley Bullet Sprint Stakes in East Yorkshire.

Jamie Spencer had the David Barron-trained five-year-old smartly out of the stalls and dictated affairs from the front.

Though the pack closed in at the business end, 2-1 favourite Pearl Secret had enough in hand to hold the fast-finishing Mirza by a neck. Line Of Reason was third.

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Barron admitted it was a tough call whether to let his star sprinter take his chance on the ground.

“It was touch and go (whether to run) but I was desperate to get a run into him as he’s not run since Ascot,” said the Thirsk handler.

“He was so fresh and well and I’ve never had him in such fine fettle.

“He’s in next Saturday (Sprint Cup) but if the forecasts are right, it could be very quick at Haydock.

“There’s a few options, but the one that sticks out like a sort thumb is the Prix de l’Abbaye, as he’s likely to get his ground.”

The future also looks bright for Big Orange after the lightly-raced three-year-old stayer turned in a huge performance at Chester.

The Michael Bell-trained gelding made all of the running to defeat the smart Whiplash Willie in the Chester Stakes, a Listed Handicap, on the Roodee after having previously finished fourth in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot.

There are numerous options for Big Orange, including the Group Two Prix Chaudenay at Longchamp.

“He seems to have come out of the race all right. I’ve had a brief chat with Mr (Bill) Gredley (owner) as to where we might go,” said Bell. “Nothing is decided yet. He is entered in the Chaudenay.

“The weights aren’t out yet for the Cesarewitch, but we can probably rule that out because he’s likely to get clobbered by the handicapper now.

“There is an alternative at Ascot in the autumn, a Listed race, which could also be an option.

“He’s a very promising stayer and it was a good performance. He was off 101 and will probably go to 107. He’s on the cusp of being a Cup horse.

“The other option is obviously the Doncaster Cup, but I haven’t talked to Mr Gredley about that yet.”

Hugo Palmer believes Aktabantay can develop into a serious three-year-old over a mile as he reflected upon a first Group success as a trainer.

Aktabantay got up in the shadow of the post to nail the Solario Stakes at Sandown on Saturday to leave Palmer dreaming of a tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in November.

He has not ruled out firstly going for the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, should the ground be on the fast side.

“He probably won’t be over-raced a great deal. I’d be surprised if he ran more than twice more this year,” said the Newmarket handler.

“He won’t go to the Champagne at Doncaster. He’s in the Dewhurst, and that’s quite a long time away, and he’s in the Jean-Luc Lagardere in Paris.

“I’m sure there’s more to come from this horse when he can feel his feet rattle off fast ground.

“He might get that in the Lagardere and he might not get it in the autumn in the Dewhurst, but it’s a definite possibility.

“Where he will get that is at Santa Anita. The entries for the Breeders’ Cup don’t come out until about October 20 so we’ve got several weeks to chew the future over and it’s an exciting position to be in.

“I think he will be suited by a turning track and by fast ground. He’s bred to get a mile and he races like he’d get a mile.”