Kingman's astonishing speed shows he can rule the 2,000 Guineas
Sunday 13 April 2014
If actions speak louder than words, it was difficult to ignore the racket yesterday at Newbury, where Kingman turned a competitive Classic trial into a one-horse show. After his four-and-a-half-length rout of his rivals in the Greenham Stakes, the John Gosden-trained colt is the new favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, having leapfrogged the latest talking horse from Ballydoyle, Australia, in most lists.
Australia has reportedly been scorching the gallops at home in Co Tipperary, but Kingman has shown what he can do and is generally a 9-4 shot for next month's Newmarket showpiece.
The son of Invincible Spirit carries the same Khaled Abdullah colours as Frankel, and though his unbeaten first season had a lower profile – it was truncated after surgery to remove a bone chip from an ankle – he has taken the same three-year-old route to the Rowley Mile, and early comparisons are going to be inevitable.
Indeed, Kingman's Greenham Stakes victory was as impressive as his illustrious predecessor's. He galloped easily throughout the seven-furlong test, cruised up to the trailblazing Astaire going to the final furlong, and as soon as James Doyle asked he quickened away by an ever-widening margin from the well-regarded Night Of Thunder.
Kingman gave the in-form Gosden his 11th winner in four days. "He's pleased me in everything he has done at home this spring," he said, "and without a doubt he has the highest cruising speed of any horse I've trained over this sort of trip." The colt's winning time was two seconds faster than that posted by J Wonder, who beat Al Thakira a neck in the filly equivalent contest.
The Newmarket trainer did warn that very quick going might rule Kingman out of the Guineas. "After his ankle chips, the last thing you'd want to do is race on fast ground," he said.
At Ayr, the Peter Bowen-trained 40-1 shot Al Co capped a memorable season for Jamie Moore by beating last year's winner, Godsmejudge, in the Scottish Grand National.
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