ST JAMES’S PALACE STAKES (Group 1)
Ascot, Turf, 1609m
17 June 2014
Sent off the strongly supported 8-11 favorite to avenge his defeat by Night of Thunder (Ire) (Dubawi) in the Gr.1 2000 Guineas, Kingman (GB) (Invincible Spirit) delivered a swift and decisive blow to that rival to win the G1 St James’s Palace Stakes with real authority on a day for the class acts at Royal Ascot.
Since his half-length reversal at the hands of the Richard Hannon trainee in the 3 May Newmarket Classic, the Juddmonte homebred had taken the Gr.1 Irish 2000 Guineas on testing ground at The Curragh, and confidence was high that he could settle the score at Ascot.
Reserved towards the rear by James Doyle as Night of Thunder led early, Kingman pounced on that 3-1 second choice with just over 100 yards remaining and by the time he hit the line he held a commanding 2 1/4-length margin over his Newmarket conqueror.
“That was awesome,” Doyle commented. “They can’t go quick enough for him and when you go, you feel like you’ve gone too soon. He’s got such a high cruising speed, he’s almost climbing over the back of them wanting to go quicker. The lads have done a fantastic job with him and I’m just so lucky to be sitting on his back. I cannot thank Prince Khalid Abdullah enough for giving me these opportunities. He got beaten in the Guineas and a lot has been said about that, but forget that now. Look at that potent turn of foot, that’s what I say.”
“We wanted to try and put the record straight and so did they, but it turned out that our horse’s fantastic turn of foot put it to bed quickly,” the owner/breeder’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe said. “James said he couldn’t believe his acceleration and that he was confident going down to post. He was very relaxed and everything went well on the day.”
Trainer John Gosden added, “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, and for a young boy he rode him brilliantly. He’s a gorgeous horse with a great mind and when they have that turn of foot, it’s what this game is all about. I’d love to freshen him now, because he’s had four races. He’s a great credit to Prince Khalid and Juddmonte Farms’ breeding operation. I was here three years ago with Henry Cecil when Frankel won and it’s lovely to have another Juddmonte homebred win. To have two in three years is amazing. We don’t compare ourselves to Frankel, but Kingman is another lovely horse with a great turn of foot and acceleration.”
Extract from Thotoughbred Daily News