King rules the day

Click to follow
The Independent Online
JOHN DUNLOP, already assured of his first trainer's championship, crowned his season when Beauchamp King took the Racing Post Trophy here yesterday. The grey colt, bred by his owner Erik Penser, was always cantering as Mons and Even Top fought each other down the long straight, and when John Reid released the brakes approaching the final furlong the response was immediate.

Beauchamp King had a length and a quarter to spare at the line, and Reid said: "It could have been more, but he started to look about a bit once he hit the front. Perhaps I should have waited a bit longer, but he was always going well and from three down I knew he would win."

This was the race Celtic Swing won by a wide margin last year, but Beauchamp King's victory had little impact on the ante-post markets for next year's Guineas and Derby. Alhaarth maintains his position as hot favourite for both, with Beauchamp King, seen more as an Epsom candidate, introduced into the Derby betting at around 20-1. In 1996 it will be exactly 50 years since the last grey winner of the premier Classic, Airborne.

A rather light-limbed May foal, Beauchamp King can only improve. Reid added: "He travels well in his races, and has a real turn of foot. And he goes on any ground. They're the signs of a good horse."

Penser, a Swedish financier based at Compton Beauchamp, Oxfordshire, will have been well pleased by the investment of pounds 15,000 he made last week to supplement his colt for yesterday's Group 1 race. He took home a prize of nearly pounds 70,000.

Like Dunlop - who was at Newbury - he has had a fine season, winning two Group 2 races during the summer with Beauchamp Hero. He has only three mares at his stud and bred Beauchamp King, a son of Nishapour, from Afariya, who sadly died this spring.

At Newbury, there was a Royal victory in the day's other Pattern race, the St Simon Stakes, as the Queen's filly Phantom Gold returned to the form that enabled her to win the Ribblesdale Stakes in June. Richard Hills sent the daughter of Machiavellian to the front fully three furlongs out and though she began to hang in the closing stages she ran on gamely to hold Asterita and the Queen's other runner, Whitechapel, like the winner trained by Lord Huntingdon.