Royal Ascot success for Kingman

Kingman, pictured, finished ahead of old rival Night Of Thunder at Royal Ascot

Kingman, pictured, finished ahead of old rival Night Of Thunder at Royal Ascot

First published in National Sport News © by

Kingman proved much too good for old rival Night Of Thunder with a scintillating display in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The John Gosden-trained Kingman was a hot favourite for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas after blowing away Richard Hannon's Night Of Thunder in the Greenham Stakes, but the latter turned the form around with a 40-1 victory on the Rowley Mile.

With Kingman having since taken the Irish 2,000 Guineas, he was a heavily supported 8-11 market leader for the third clash and was settled towards the rear by James Doyle, while Richard Hughes set out to make all the running aboard Night Of Thunder.

Just for a fleeting moment it appeared Kingman might struggle to reel in the leader turning into the home straight, but Doyle cut a confident figure throughout and once asked to extend his mount made up the ground in a matter of strides. He began to hang towards the rail in the last half-furlong, but it made no difference to the result, with the odds-on shot passing the post two-and-a-quarter lengths ahead.

Night Of Thunder ran a perfectly respectable race in second, but was no match for the winner on the day. Outstrip bounced back from his disappointing Newmarket effort to finish third.

Doyle said: "That was awesome, that's the best way to describe it. It's almost as if they can't go quick enough for him, even when you go you feel like you've gone too soon. He's got so much pace, he's almost climbing over the back of them wanting them to go quicker. I'm just very lucky to be sat on his back, I can't thank Prince Khalid (Abdullah) enough for giving me this opportunity.

"Nothing changed my opinion of him being the best three-year-old and we can forget the Guineas now - just look at that. I'll probably get a bit of stick for that (putting his finger to his lips on passing the post), I probably shouldn't have done it but I let myself go."

Gosden said: "He has fantastic acceleration, I sat down with James in the weighing room because I didn't want to get confused with everyone else's tactics in the parade ring. I said whatever they do, ride him cool.

"I was so impressed with their tactics. They took Toormore back and sent Night Of Thunder on and that was really clever because he stays well and James could have thought 'oh my God, what are they going to do'. I said the slower they go, fine, because of his turn of foot - and for a young boy he rode him brilliantly.

"When a horse wins a maiden and he's favourite for the Guineas it's a bit embarrassing for the horse, but fortunately he doesn't read the newspapers so it's only us who have had to bear the pressure. He's a gorgeous horse with a great mind and when they have that turn of foot it is what the game is all about.

"I'd like to freshen him up now as he's had four races. We'll think about races like the Sussex and the Jacques le Marois and then back here the QEII.

"It's a great credit to Prince Khalid and Juddmonte, to their breeding operation. I was with Henry (Cecil) when Frankel won this and he had an anxious moment as he went too early. We do not compare ourselves to Frankel, but it's great for Juddmonte to have another lovely horse."

Teddy Grimthorpe, owner Khalid Abdullah's racing manager, said: "We wanted to try and put the record straight and so did they, and he put it to bed pretty excitingly I thought. James couldn't believe his burst of speed, he just took off with him. He said he was very confident the way he went down, he was very relaxed. Everything went right.

"I'd have to speak to the great John Gosden and most importantly Prince Khalid. I would think he'd stick at a mile, we have made other entries (July Cup), but I would think that a mile is his thing, and something like the Sussex Stakes and a clash with older horses. James has taken to the job really well, he gives very good feedback and rides like you would expect him to."

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree