HUGHIE Morrison intends to give Telecaster time to recover from his Investec Derby disappointment and bring him back for the Juddmonte International at York in August.
A return to the scene of the colt’s best performance so far – his Dante Stakes victory last month – is likely after Epsom proved a step too far, too quickly.
The strongly-fancied 5/1 shot went from holding every chance to weakening quickly and trailing in last of 13 behind the Aidan O’Brien-trained Anthony Van Dyck.
“We’ll just sit down and think about it. It’s going to be a difficult judgement, because he looks great this morning,” said Morrison, whose New Approach colt had been supplemented at a cost of £85,000.
“We won’t want to go backwards (in class) – we’ve won a Group 2. We’ve won maybe the best three-year-old race beyond a mile of the season so far.
“He’s in the Irish Derby, the Eclipse, the Grand Prix de Paris – but they might all come too soon. We might just put him away and run him at York.
“Obviously the Derby was a very competitive race. But there wasn’t a ‘stand-out’ victory – with five horses finishing within a length.”
Morrison voiced his admiration for the chief protagonists, nonetheless, and their endeavours which ensured a fitting spectacle.
“A lot of very good horses – and good luck to the Coolmore guys,” said the Berkshire trainer. “They breed these Derby horses – that’s what they do. You have to admire them hugely. If they didn’t do it, the Derby would be a much lesser race without them.”
As for Telecaster, he added: “Yes, he probably will (need a bit of a break).
“You realise, easy with hindsight, when you’re standing in the paddock – looking at these hardened, mature three-year-olds going round like a dozen strong, muscled-up ‘I’ve been there before’ types – and then our boy comes in, looks tall and immature really compared to them.”
The Derby was Telecaster’s fourth race of the season, but Morrison remains content that it was the right decision for connections to pay the supplementary fee to re-enter the equation following his Dante success.
He said: “At the end of the day, our instincts were right. Three runs prior to the Derby – for an immature horse, as he obviously was, more than the rest – it just bottoms them out.
"That was why we didn’t put him in (initially). But given we’d won two races, including a Dante, we had to go. If we hadn’t run, everybody in the press would have absolutely destroyed us – and quite rightly so.”
Telecaster’s rapid progression meant he had to take his chance.
“Japan was beaten under a length, and we had him well behind in the Dante, so we had to,” said Morrison. “If we hadn’t gone, I think we would have felt pretty sick this morning.
“But you don’t find out, when you’re running them quickly – especially an immature horse – until you go there. If it wasn’t the Derby we wouldn’t have run him for four to six weeks (after the Dante).
“It’s something about that third run in the spring seems to take the edge off them. He was beaten too quickly – he just didn’t pick up.
“It was maybe the nature of the race – they all came to him, and he was shocked. But he was going so well two and a half (furlongs) out, you think not to then pick up he just can’t have run anywhere near his Dante running.”
Morrison reports Telecaster apparently none the worse for the experience.
“He looks fine. He’s obviously a bit tight, but you couldn’t say there was obviously any physical reason why he ran why he did,” he said.
“He didn’t turn up at the Derby – but we know we’ve got a very good horse. There’s no doubt if Telecaster hadn’t been in the race, it would have been a lesser race.”
Morrison believes the horse was beaten too far out to say he did not stay the trip.
“Time will tell, I think. He was beaten too early, I felt, to say it was the distance. But it could have been a combination of distance and too quick (since his last run). He’s got a lot of speed, that horse. He travels brilliantly well.”