Chester next stop for Magnolia victor Foxes Tales

Andrew Balding’s charge justifies favouritism with ease.

Foxes Tales appears to have earned himself a trip to Chester’s May meeting after justifying favouritism with an impressive success in the Unibet More Extra Place Races Magnolia Stakes at Kempton.

The Andrew Balding-trained five-year-old won the Group Three Rose Of Lancaster at Haydock at three, but lost his way somewhat last term.

However, he had shown his well-being with a smart third to subsequent Dubai Turf winner Lord North in the Winter Derby at Lingfield in February and was a 5-2 market leader for Kempton’s Listed feature.

The pace was good from the outset and William Buick appeared keen to catch his six rivals knapping aboard Secret State – kicking for home aboard last season’s King George V Handicap winner with over two furlongs still to run.

Oisin Murphy, though, had the ideal stalking pitch on Foxes Tales and soon had the Charlie Appleby runner in his sights.

The gelded son of Zoffany drew readily upsides and powered clear for a fourth career-win, scoring by three lengths.

Rogue Millennium (33-1) stayed on well for second, with Phantom Flight, who failed to get a run when Buick kicked, a further half length back in third.

Balding said: “He had a bit of wide trip in the Winter Derby but he ran well and Lord North went and franked the form in Dubai, so we were pretty hopeful today.

“He is definitely more focused for being gelded and he is back to the level of form he was showing as a three-year-old.

Foxes Tales returns to the winner's enclosure
Foxes Tales returns to the winner’s enclosure (PA)

“I think last year he was just thinking about things, but he has been gelded and has had a good winter off and hopefully he will have a good season.

“It was either he had to win a Group One last season or have him gelded and have him as a racehorse this season and we have him as a racehorse.

“He has done it well and to the eye it was quite impressive.”

Balding is now eyeing a return to Pattern class, adding: “I think we will probably go to Chester now for the Huxley Stakes (May 12).

“He won a Group Three as a three-year-old and I can’t see why he can’t win at Group-race level again.”

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