Goodwood: Kingman strikes in the Sussex
Kingman confirmed his superiority in this season’s 1 mile division, eventually getting up to take the Group 1 Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood against his older rivals. For a few seconds it looked like there may be a shock on the cards, with Kingman struggling slightly to get into a rhythm behind the high class Toronado.
The brilliant Kingman has blown away his 3yo opposition this season over a mile, with one exception being in the Guineas but he again showed his quality today on his first start against older rivals. Aidan O’Brien’s Darwin had brought the field along early on, with last year’s Champion Toronado, also racing prominently. Kingman, with regular jockey James Doyle in the saddle, was again settled in rear, gearing himself up for a late flourish.
All seemed to be going well as Kingman still travelled well when Toronado hit the front passing the 2 furlong pole but Kingman began to struggle slightly when asked to show his turn of foot, which has seen him record two Group 1 victories. The Group 1 tally was soon brought up to three, with the 2/5 favourite eventually getting into a rhythm and getting up just before the line to deny Toronado, with Darwin staying on gamely to finish a close third.
Doyle said: “That’s what separates him from the others. No matter what comes his way, he’s so versatile and has all the attributes to get you out of trouble. He’s a wonderful racehorse.
“He’s got a wonderful turn of foot so it probably played into his hands. I thought they would go steady but not quite like that. Just past the two pole they were trotting, but the turn of foot he’s got is unbelievable.
“It’s what you work so hard for.”
Owner Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said: “John has always said he could win a July Cup as he shows that kind of speed. Really, they played into our hands from our point of view.
“I didn’t know what to expect in the race. Richard Hughes rides this track so well. When this horse finds his stride he is pretty impressive off a slow pace.
“We discussed coming here at length and we thought the most important thing was to try to take on Toronado on his home ground. It’s important for the three-year-olds to take on older horses.
“When the ground came up good, fast ground we had to take a shot at this race.
“We’ve discussed the possibility of going to Deauville for the Jacques le Marois. The end game I think might probably be the QEII at Ascot on Champions Day. That’s going to be an important race for him. Between then and now, how he gets there is up to John, but they are obvious possibilities.
“We certainly haven’t had any discussions about next year. The most important thing is to get this year under the belt. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a horse of this calibre. He excites people as well.
“When you see that turn of foot it gets the blood rushing. We all want to see more of it. It’s a question of doing the right thing for the horse, whether he is in a good-enough shape to go on another year and if it makes sense. Prince Khalid will decide.”
By Kevin Walsh 30/7/14
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