Turf Talk: Hail the new king

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Often the transformation between the jumps and the flat can cause a bit of a lull in the racing calendar.

The short few weeks between Aintree and the Guineas can at times feel a bit of an anti-climax. No such concerns this year as already we have seen the birth of a potential superstar, and his name is Kingman.

All reports of an injury scare, a poor winter and having to dispel his ‘talking horse’ tag were well and truly put to bed last week. One of the best Greenham fields assembled for many a year was made to seem average by the new Guineas favourite. As Night Of Thunder, a very good horse in his own right and one surely bang in with a shout in his intended classic target, the French Guineas, loomed up alongside pacesetter (and last year’s Gimcrack winner) Astaire two out, it became all too apparent that there was a very good horse swinging on the bridle on his inside. It took little more than a shake of the reins from pilot James Doyle to set Kingman alight. It almost felt like a ‘where were you when Kingman arrived?’ moment.

The manner of victory certainly warranted a bookmakers’ reaction and it was no surprise to see him cut to favouritism. Nor was it a surprise to see his odds continue to tumble as the week wore on, available now at no bigger than 6/4. I’m no fan of short priced favourites but this one could be special folks.

As awe inspiring as last Saturday’s action was, this weekend looks entirely the opposite. That said, Zibelina looks the star turn in the listed Snowdrop Stakes at Kempton and should prove hard to beat. The progressive Ribbons looks solid opposition although will surely thrive over further than the mile she’ll be faced with on Saturday.

I also gave a good word for Orsippus here last week, but he didn’t feature in the final declarations. He’s entered up again for Saturday, this time at Haydock. On his preferred flat track, decent racing ground and off a winning mark of 130 I think he’s set to run a big race at what could prove attractive odds.


Haydock (2.40) Orsippus

Kempton (2.55) Zibelina