Andrew Balding’s King’s Lynn capped a successful season with a Listed win at Doncaster in the Virgin Bet Wentworth Stakes.
The four-year-old, owned and bred by the Queen, was previously victorious at the same level in the Achilles Stakes at Haydock in May, and was beaten only a length last time out in the Group Three Bengough Stakes at Ascot.
That form saw him start as the 4-1 favourite on Town Moor, a price he justified when battling all the way to the line under David Probert to prevail by a head from Magical Spirit.
“He’s a lovely horse – I managed to get him to sit behind the pace and the wind early on,” said the winning jockey.
“He’s travelled smoothly, and when I did commit to him a furlong and a half down, the second horse was going with me – and he’s battled all the way to the line. The ground has definitely helped him.
“It really was a strong headwind, and the second (placed) horse has drifted left and put me under pressure. He can wander around a little bit but under the conditions today, (but) I think he’s won well.
“He’s actually been running very consistently throughout and had a real good run at Ascot the last day, so we knew he was coming here in good form.”
There was early drama in the race as Jouska unseated Rob Hornby – before then running loose and chasing home the leading duo, causing the runner-up to drift slightly towards the rail.
“There was a little bit happening, but he’s had a clear passage,” Balding said of his winner.
“It’s great to have won a Listed race with him under a penalty – he’s a high-class horse, and I’m thrilled for his owner and his jockey.
“He’s tough and he likes it here. It’s funny that he’s had a great season, bar two very bad runs at Newbury – he under-performed (there) both times, and I don’t know why that is because I wouldn’t have thought there would be that much difference between Newbury and here.
“Everyone who trains for the Queen loves having winners for her, and it’s a special feeling to win a Listed race for the second time this year with this horse.”
The stewards looked into the incident which led to Jouska’s departure, after clipping heels, and suspended Magical Spirit’s jockey Kevin Stott for 10 days for careless riding. He is stood down on November 20, and from November 22 to December 1.
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