IT would be rash to exaggerate the significance of an easy debut victory, and a comfortable follow-up in a four-runner Group 3 event, but John Gosden’s Kingman did all that was asked of him in the Betfred Mobile Solario Stakes at Sandown last Saturday and is now a top-priced 5/1 for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.

Godolphin were responsible for two of the runners, and it was Emirates Flyer who took the field along at a steady pace. In no hurry, James Doyle brought Kingman with his challenge two furlongs from home and soon went on, pulling two lengths clear at the line as Emirates Flyer kept on gamely to hold the other Godolphin runner Music Theory by a head. It was seven lengths back to Rosso Corsa who was outclassed.

The 2/7 shot Kingman, a son of Invincible Spirit, travelled easily in the race and found by far the best turn of foot. He was pushed out with hands and heels and drifted towards the far rails, but never came under pressure and returned a very fair time, given that the early pace was hardly generous. All in all, it was the perfect way for Doyle to celebrate his new position as retained rider to Prince Khalid Abdullah.

It is rare for Gosden to be elsewhere on a big race day, but he was in Germany attending a sale, and it was Abdullah’s racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe who did the honours afterwards.


“I was really pleased with the way he relaxed, and when asked to quicken he did so really nicely,” he said. “That was the most important thing; it’s all part of his education. We’ll aim a little higher next time and that would mean, I think, the Lagardere at Longchamp or the Dewhurst.”

Doyle has a nice, easy-going manner with the press, and was clearly very satisfied. “It was a bit messy early, but they didn’t go very fast and he has a big, long stride,” he pointed out. “He has a very good temperament, he’s well balanced and he has a good turn of foot.”

Kingman looks a very high-class individual and his next start will be awaited with keen anticipation. Gosden also won the Solario with the brilliant Raven’s Pass, who went on to land the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic, though he finished only third in the Group 1 Dewhurst as a youngster. It looks as if Kingman will start at a very short price if he bids to put that right next month.

[Kingman did not race again at two. He opened his second season with a clear-cut victory over Night Of Thunder in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes, and the runner-up overturned that result and beat Kingman by half a length in the Group 1 2000 Guineas, inflicting the only defeat of Kingman’s career.

After that Kingman won the Group 1 Irish 2000 Guineas, beat Night Of Thunder in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes, and added the Group 1 Sussex Stakes and Group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois to his tally. He retired to Banstead Manor Stud in 2015 at a fee of £55,000, and has just completed his ninth season at a fee of £125,000, down from a high of £150,000.

His more than a century of stakes performers include 42 group winners and 27 other blacktype winners, and his list of Group 1 winners comprises Palace Pier (Queen Anne Stakes, Royal Ascot, Lockinge Stakes, Newbury, St James’s Palace Stakes, Royal Ascot, and the Prix Jacques Le Marois, Deauville, twice), Domestic Spending (Manhattan Stakes, Belmont Park, Turf Classic Stakes, Churchill Downs, and Hollywood Derby, Del Mar), Persian King (Poule d’Essai des Poulains-French 2000 Guineas, ParisLongchamp, Prix du Moulin de Longchamp, ParisLongchamp, and Prix d’Ispahan, Chantilly), Kinross (British Champions Sprint Stakes, Ascot, and Prix de la Forêt, ParisLongchamp), Feed The Flame (Grand Prix de Paris, ParisLongchamp), King Colorado (J.J. Atkins, Eagle Farm), Commissioning (Fillies’ Mile, Newmarket), and Schnell Meister (NHK Mile Cup, Tokyo)]

Exciting talent is confirmed Again


AGAIN cemented her position as the country’s top juvenile filly, and one of the market leaders for the 1000 Guineas, with a victory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. This rounded off a superb seven days for her trainer David Wachman.

The previous Sunday at Deauville, Wachman sent out Bushranger to capture the Darley Prix Morny. This time his two-strong challenge for another of Europe’s major juvenile prizes was headed by Again, who shot to the summit of her division with a stylish win in last month’s Debutante Stakes at Leopardstown. Wayne Lordan and Johnny Murtagh, who rode the Danehill Dancer filly in her last two races, were both suspended, and in their place Seamus Heffernan took over to record his first win in this race.

Again was sent off the 6/4 favourite to give her trainer his fourth top-flight success. Amongst her opposition was the exciting and undefeated Shimah, and this pair dominated both the market and the finish of the seven-furlong contest. In the early stages, Heffernan looked on from a midfield position aboard Again as her stablemate Marquesa helped to cut out the pace, along with several others. At halfway the favourite took closer order, and she was then pushed along to join the front rank with well over two furlongs to run.

Inside the final quarter of a mile, Again was vying for the lead with Beyond Our Reach, and no sooner had she dealt with that rival than Shimah launched a menacing late rally. Shimah steadily cut into Again’s lead, and the latter drifted right in the closing stages, but she did keep on well to repel her rival by half a length. A stewards’ enquiry was called but there was no alteration to the placings. Two and a half lengths back in third was Beyond Our Reach, who came home ahead of Aaroness.

‘‘Seamie felt that she was just idling in front late on,’’ reflected Wachman. ‘‘She’s a filly that has made good improvement from every run that she has had so far. She’s a big filly who is still a little weak, and I think that we will see the best of her next year. She’s bred to improve as her dam is a half-sister to Montjeu. Seamie has given her a very good ride, but it’s tough on Wayne (Lordan) who’s suspended and has done all the work with this filly.’’

On her first start since winning a listed race here two months ago, Shimah lost nothing in defeat and proved herself a very high-class juvenile filly on her first try beyond six furlongs. The once-raced maiden Beyond Our Reach turned in a terrific effort under Michael Kinane to take third for Tommy Stack, whose other runner, Sugar Free, ran a creditable fifth. ‘‘We’ve very pleased with how both fillies ran, and they are two nice prospects for next year,’’ commented the trainer’s son and assistant Fozzy. ‘‘They could both take their chance in another decent race before the end of the year.’’

[Again won the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas at three and was placed in the Group 1 Marron Stakes. She is the dam of four winners, and they include the stakes winner and Group 1 runner-up Delphinia (Galileo) and the stakes-winning juvenile, Indian Maharaja (Galileo)]

Sustained success at Currabeg


WHEN the time to retire comes, many trainers turn to stud management. John Oxx set a precedent in this respect by commencing as a stud manager, and then switching to training.

Born at Clonsilla in Co Dublin, he was for many years manager of the late Mr Dan Sullivan’s Hilltown Stud, where Windsor Lad was bred. In 1943, Mr James McVey approached him and asked him to become his private trainer. He jumped at the chance, and set up in Summerseat, Clonee, Co Meath, now the Kevin Kerr establishment.

In his very first year, Oxx saddled Solferino to win the Irish St Leger and Astrologer to take the Cambridgeshire. Both were ridden by John Power, whose unbroken association with the stable thus dates back to its earliest days.

In 1945, Oxx’s association with Mr McVey came to a close and the following year, he transferred to the Curragh, where Mr Arthur Adams appointed him his trainer.

In his first season at Mountjoy Lodge, he possessed Lady Kells, one of the fastest fillies of her generation. Mr Adams bought French House shortly afterwards, and Oxx spent three highly successful years there. In 1950, Oxx began building his own house and stables at Currabeg, moving in the next year. In the seven years that he has been at Currabeg he has never yet failed to win at least £4,000 a season for his patrons.

During these years he has saddled the winners of close on 170 races, worth more than £40,000. In 1954 Hidalgo won the Gallinule Stakes so convincingly that he became a strong fancy to beat the hot favourite Tale Of Two Cities in the Irish Derby. He duly did that, but the intervention of the shock winner, Zarathustra, foiled Oxx’s hopes of saddling his first Derby winner.