Dandy Nicholls is looking to add another top sprinting prize to his impressive haul as he sends Tax Free to contest Sandown Park’s Betfair Temple Stakes on May 31.
The son of Tagula comes into the race in cracking form, having beaten stablemate Peace Offering in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket last time.
Nicholls commented: “That sharp five furlongs would not have been totally ideal and Peace Offering went on to win a big race in France the following weekend, so Tax Free could hardly be in better nick.
“The horse has been improving steadily with time and should continue to do so.
“One of his biggest assets is his adaptability – he can race up with the pace or be held up, as occurred at Newmarket. I’ve had some seriously good ones over the years, but he’d be a match for any of them.”
Nicholls is proud that he first spotted Tax Free’s potential as a two-year-old.
“People see the horses that have won the big races and assume I buy them all as proven on the course, but I’ve done well with those I’ve bought unraced,” he added.
“Tax Free didn’t get a bid of more than 5000 guineas at the sales, but I liked him so much I decided to buy him privately.
“He suffered from shin splints as a juvenile and didn’t see a racecourse until he was three, but it seems our patience has been rewarded.”
The Temple Stakes nearly came Nicholls’ way two years ago when Lafi was narrowly beaten, and since then the race has been firmly on his wish list.
“I honestly thought we had the race won with Lafi, but we’ll put that right yet,” he said.
“Tax Free will really enjoy the stiff five furlongs at Sandown and is well suited by the conditions of the race – he’s got a great chance.”