/ Racing

Kingman grabs Greenham Stakes at Newbury for red-hot trainer John Gosden

Updated: Saturday, 12 Apr 2014 21:58 | Comments

Kingman has been slashed to a best-price 7-4 for the 2000 Guineas in the wake of his devastating display at Newbury
Kingman has been slashed to a best-price 7-4 for the 2000 Guineas in the wake of his devastating display at Newbury

It was only his trial race but such was the immaculate return of Kingman at Newbury that bookmakers were forced into a complete overhaul of the betting for the Qipco 2000 Guineas.

Australia had been a strong market leader for the first colts' Classic until he was usurped by John Gosden's unbeaten representative, who swiftly dispatched his opponents by an electric four and a half lengths in the Aon Greenham Stakes.

There was still a warning from the trainer about the possibility of quick ground jeopardising Kingman's participation at Newmarket in exactly three weeks, as Gosden has been careful with him since his previous start at Sandown in late August.

The son of Invincible Spirit had been under the microscope ever since his striking debut on Newmarket's July course, some of which could be related to him carrying the colours of Khalid Abdullah, whose Frankel emerged from hibernation in the 2011 Greenham.

Kingman had been James Doyle's first pressurised assignment after signing as the owner's retained jockey in the Solario Stakes, and there were echoes of Abdullah's modern-day great as he streaked clear of Night Of Thunder in the final furlong.

He is 7-4 favourite for the Guineas with Ladbrokes.

"We came here for a trial and he has passed his trial well," said Gosden.

"I was really happy with how he settled, and we were thrilled with how he picked up.

"Without doubt he has the highest cruising speed of any horse I've trained over this trip - seven furlongs and a mile."

Looking ahead, the trainer said. "It's well documented that he got a chip in an ankle last year and to that extent, and so early in his three-year-old career, the last thing you want to do with a young horse would be to run on fast ground, but hopefully it will be good ground (at Newmarket) and we will be there.

"He's a proper horse, there's the Guineas and hopefully there's other races down the other road. I think we'll be staying at a mile."

Brian Meehan has a decision to make as to which 1000 Guineas will be the aim for his J Wonder, winner of the Fred Darling Stakes, run this year as the Dubai Duty Free Stakes.

Although she lost her unbeaten record in the Lowther Stakes, Jimmy Fortune's mount was well-backed into 4-1 and showed a ready turn of foot to quicken up from a steady pace set by Valonia.

Frankie Dettori whacked his whip on a rail afterwards in mock anger, but was indicating a point that 11-4 favourite Al Thakhira could well have won on another occasion after she closed to finish just a head in arrears, with Frankel's half-sister Joyeuse closing nicely for third.

J Wonder on the way to victory

Meehan said: "I'm really pleased as she has proved to be the filly we thought she was. Jimmy Fortune said she won easily and just needed one slap to keep her mind on the job. She's in the French and English Guineas and I'll have to speak to the owner."

Marco Botti said of Al Thakhira: "She has proved she retains her ability and Frankie said he should have challenged a bit earlier. I think seven furlongs might be her trip, but the French Guineas might give her a better chance at a mile. Ground is key."

Lady Cecil also has the French and Newmarket options for Joyeuse.

Ralph Beckett only decided to pitch Cubanita (7-1) into the Dubai Duty Free Finest Surprise (John Porter) Stakes when the mare worked well last week and it was a shrewd move as she got home a neck in front of another Frankel sibling, Noble Mission.

"I was worried about running with a penalty but she has improved," said Beckett.

"Miss Rausing (owner) is keen to try the Tattersalls Gold Cup in Ireland if the ground is soft, otherwise there's the Yorkshire Cup. It all depends on the ground."

As was the case on Friday, Gosden three-year-olds dominated with Matalleb (7-1) leading home a one-two for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum from even-money favourite Mutakayyef in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Maiden Stakes.

Eagle Top (4-6 favourite) could be even better as he cut down Automated in the Al Basti Equiworld Maiden Stakes.

"I see him as a King Edward VII (Royal Ascot) sort of horse, not one to rush, but hopefully we'll get there," Gosden said.

Gabrial's Kaka (8-1 co-favourite), who did not run at all badly on his comeback in the Lincoln, swooped wide and late under a patient Jamie Spencer in the Berry Bros & Rudd Magnum Spring Cup.

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