Tag Archive for: Kingmax

Kingmax to drop in distance at Royal Ascot

David Loughnane is planning to drop Kingmax back in trip following the three-year-old’s first attempt at tackling 10 furlongs in the Dante at York.

The Kingman colt headed into the recognised Derby trial on the back of a respectable fourth in the Craven and his handler thought the step up in trip would be the making of him.

However, Kingmax faded in the closing stages and could only finish fifth, beaten eight and a half lengths, behind Cazoo Derby favourite Desert Crown.

Loughnane now plans to drop the Amo Racing-owned colt back down to a maximum distance of a mile for his next outing, which will be at Royal Ascot.

“It was a good run. I was adamant going into the race that he would be a better horse over a mile and a quarter, but as horses often do, he proved me wrong,” said Loughnane.

“He just didn’t see out the trip, so we’ll go back down in trip now and head to Royal Ascot. He’ll have entries in the Jersey and the Britannia, he has an entry already in the St James’s Palace, but most likely he will be going to the Britannia or Jersey.”

Amo Racing have another fine prospect housed at Loughnane’s Helshaw Grange stables in the form of Queen Olly.

The two-year-old daughter of No Nay Never burst on to the scene with a taking victory at York and is as short as 6-1 with Skybet for the Albany Stakes at the Royal meeting, which will be her next outing.

“I’ve loved her since day one. I said the first day I sat on her when she came into the yard that she was a Royal Ascot filly and I genuinely believe she is,” continued Loughnane.

“She’s just franked that opinion even more for me with the performance at York. The race didn’t really go to suit early doors, she had to muscle her way out and she pulled well clear going to the line.

“She wouldn’t turn a hair after the race and it is all systems go for the Albany with her.”

The Irishman is operating at upwards of 25 per cent with his youngsters in the early part of the season and provided an update on some more of his two-year-old string, including Carmela, who caught the eye when fifth from a troubled passage in the Marygate Stakes on the Knavesmire.

He said: “Carmela got murdered coming out the gate, she got wiped out and Richard (Kingscote) had to sit and suffer and probably got stuck behind a couple of slow horses and the gaps just came pretty late.

“Richard’s not been too hard on her and she flew home and I’ve got no doubt she would have been well and truly involved with the first two home had she had a clear passage.

“We’ll probably look for one more race with her and aim to get her out in the next fortnight and if she goes and wins nicely, we’ve still got the Queen Mary in mind for her.

“Maxi King is a lovely horse, I feel he will be better over seven (furlongs). The only thing that got him beat at Nottingham was a lack of experience. The winner had a run under his belt and knew his job and was just a bit smarter away. I think he’ll be going close or winning next time, but we’ll go and win his maiden and see where he is from there.

“We have a great bunch of two-year-olds, both with Amo and with plenty of other great owners. Absolutelyflawless is two from two now after winning the Lily Agnes and she might head for the Hilary Needler or something like that and we’ve got a lovely team of horses to look forward to over the year.”

Stoute ready to take the wraps off Derby hope Desert Crown

Sir Michael Stoute insists Desert Crown is “not a spectacular homeworker” ahead of his highly-anticipated reappearance in the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York.

The master of Freemason Lodge has saddled six previous winners of the recognised Derby trial, with both Shahrastani (1986) and North Light (2004) going on to claim Epsom glory.

Desert Crown, who has so far only won a minor maiden event at Nottingham, has been a huge mover in the ante-post market for the premier Classic in recent weeks and is now a best priced 6-1.

The Nathaniel colt, who carries the same Saeed Suhail colours of 2003 Derby hero Kris Kin, is the narrow favourite to book his ticket to Epsom with victory on the Knavesmire – but Stoute has revealed his preparation through the spring has not been straightforward.

“We’re only just up for a race and that’s why he hasn’t run yet – because he had a minor hiccup, which has delayed the start of his season,” said the trainer.

“We’ve only just got him there ready to go to the races. He’s not a spectacular homeworker and he surprised us when he won at Nottingham last year.

“His work here has been workmanlike – but he’s a very talked about horse!”

Desert Crown is one of nine colts declared for Thursday’s feature, with James Ferguson’s El Bodegon making his first appearance since rounding off his juvenile campaign with a top-level triumph in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in October.

That form has worked out exceptionally well, with Aidan O’Brien’s runner-up Stone Age now Derby favourite and the fourth home Buckaroo also impressing on his latest appearance.

John Gosden has trained four previous winners of the Dante, including two subsequent Epsom scorers in Benny The Dip (1997) and Golden Horn (2015).

This year the Clarehaven handler, who now trains in partnership with son Thady, is represented by recent Leicester scorer Magisterial, the mount of Frankie Dettori.

Mark and Charlie Johnston’s Royal Patronage turns out less than two weeks after finishing down the field in the 2000 Guineas, while Bluegrass bids to strengthen O’Brien’s formidable Derby hand.

Masekela is an interesting contender for Andrew Balding off the back of finishing second in Newmarket’s Feilden Stakes.

The field is completed by Kevin Ryan’s Dark Moon Rising, Saeed bin Suroor’s White Wolf and the Dave Loughnane-trained Kingmax, who steps up in trip after finishing fourth behind Native Trail in the Craven Stakes.

Loughnane said: “I have no worries at all about the trip, to be honest – I’ve always felt he wanted a mile and a quarter.

“We ran him in the Craven to see if he was going to be quick enough for a Guineas or not. He showed to us that he wasn’t, so I’d be very hopeful a mile and a quarter shouldn’t be a problem at all for him.

“He was only rated 86 going into the Craven, so it was a proper hike up and I think he’ll be a much better horse over 10 furlongs.”

Kingmax is not currently entered in the Derby at Epsom, but could yet earn himself a starting berth.

“We feel he’s good enough to be in these sort of races and he has to go and prove it on the track now,” the trainer added.

“The Dante is the plan for now. He’s got an entry in the French Derby, which is also over 10 furlongs.

“If he was to go and run very well or win the Dante and we thought he’d get further, there’s always the option to supplement for Epsom.”

Desert Crown puts Derby hopes on the line in Dante test

Derby plunge horse Desert Crown and Group One-winning colt El Bodegon are among nine colts declared for the Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes at York on Thursday.

Despite only winning a Nottingham novice event to date, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Desert Crown is a best priced 6-1 for next month’s premier Classic following sustained support in recent weeks.

The Nathaniel colt, who carries the colours of Stoute’s 2003 Derby hero Kris Kin, is the narrow favourite to book his ticket to Epsom with victory on the Knavesmire under Richard Kingscote.

Speaking after steering the Stoute-trained Kiteflyer to victory at Chepstow on Tuesday, Kingscote told Sky Sports Racing: “He (Desert Crown) was impressive first time and I know the boss is delighted with him at home.

Richard Kingscote rides Desert Crown in the Dante Stakes
Richard Kingscote rides Desert Crown in the Dante Stakes (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’m looking forward to him on Thursday. We’ll learn more about him and he’ll learn more about the game.

“We’re all in the same boat. No one has really had any nice ground to gallop on – we’re all suffering with a bit of a dry spell. But I’m sure York have produced lovely ground, as they always do.”

James Ferguson’s El Bodegon makes his first appearance since rounding off his juvenile campaign with a top-level triumph in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud in October.

That form has worked out exceptionally well, with Aidan O’Brien’s runner-up Stone Age now Derby favourite and the fourth home Buckaroo also impressing on his latest appearance.

John Gosden has trained four previous winners of the Dante, with both Benny The Dip (1997) and Golden Horn (2015) both going on to follow up in the Derby.

This year the Clarehaven handler, who now trains in partnership with son Thady, is represented by recent Leicester scorer Magisterial, the mount of Frankie Dettori.

Mark and Charlie Johnston’s Royal Patronage turns out less than two weeks after finishing down the field in the 2000 Guineas, while Bluegrass bids to strengthen O’Brien’s formidable Derby hand.

Masekela is an interesting contender for Andrew Balding off the back of finishing second in Newmarket’s Feilden Stakes.

The field is completed by Kevin Ryan’s Dark Moon Rising, Saeed bin Suroor’s White Wolf and the Dave Loughnane-trained Kingmax, who steps up in trip after finishing fourth behind Native Trail in the Craven Stakes.

Loughnane said: “I have no worries at all about the trip, to be honest – I’ve always felt he wanted a mile and a quarter.

“We ran him in the Craven to see if he was going to be quick enough for a Guineas or not. He showed to us that he wasn’t, so I’d be very hopeful a mile and a quarter shouldn’t be a problem at all for him.

“He was only rated 86 going into the Craven, so it was a proper hike up and I think he’ll be a much better horse over 10 furlongs.”

Kingmax is not currently entered in the Derby at Epsom, but could yet earn himself a starting berth.

“We feel he’s good enough to be in these sort of races and he has to go and prove it on the track now,” the trainer added.

“The Dante is the plan for now. He’s got an entry in the French Derby, which is also over 10 furlongs.

“If he was to go and run very well or win the Dante and we thought he’d get further, there’s always the option to supplement for Epsom.”

Loughnane confident ‘rock solid’ Hello You can make Guineas impact

David Loughnane is delighted with the way Hello You and Kingmax fared in their latest assignments at the Craven Meeting and a return to Newmarket’s Rowley Mile is up next for the former, with a bold showing expected in the Qipco 1000 Guineas.

The daughter of Invincible Spirit is available at 40-1 for the first fillies’ Classic of the season following her third to Cachet in the Nell Gwyn Stakes, but her handler was delighted with the performance, stating that 1000 Guineas day is the only day that matters.

“She’s been rock solid. I made it very clear beforehand that you never really see a horse win both the Nell Gwyn and the 1000 Guineas and it is very much all about the 1000 Guineas for us and it was very much a prep run working towards that,” said Loughnane.

“She was only 85 percent fit going into the race. She will have come on plenty for the run and has come out of it very well and it is all systems go now for May 1.”

It will be the fifth time regular adversaries Hello You and Cachet have gone head-to-head, with George Boughey’s dual winner coming out on top most recently. Loughnane is full of respect for the daughter of Aclaim, but thinks John Gosden’s Inspiral could be the one the 1000 Guineas field will have to worry about.

“Cachet was impressive in the Nell Gwyn and we have plenty of respect for her and if it comes down to the two of them, let the best horse win. But I have no doubt John Gosden’s Inspiral will take plenty of beating,” he added.

Loughnane also saw his leading three-year-old colt, Kingmax, run with credit when finishing fourth behind Native Trail in the Craven Stakes.

Twice a runner-up at two when trained by Roger Varian, the Kingman colt made an immediate impression on his first start for the Shropshire-based handler when winning impressively at Kempton last month and could now be tried over further, with Loughnane believing that is where his future lies.

“He’s come out of the race really well, the handicapper has put him up 15lb after the run and he’s now rated 101,” said the trainer.

The bet365 Craven Meeting – Day Two – Newmarket Racecourse
Rossa Ryan aboard Kingmax ahead of the bet365 Craven Stakes (Tim Goode/PA)

“He’s a horse we’ve loved since day one and I was under no illusions we were going to beat Native Trail.

“I always felt he would be a better horse once we stepped him up to 10 furlongs and that’s very much the way he looked and the way he ran in the Craven. But look, it was an exceptional run and he has some nice entries coming up, so we’ve plenty of options.

“Personally, I would be leaning towards the Dante and see how we go, but I’ll sit down with the owners (Amo Racing) and consider all options.”

Loughnane has made a fine start to the 2022 season, especially in the juvenile ranks, where two of his first five two-year-old runners have found the scoresheet.

One of those is Carmela, a £37,000 yearling, who knew what the job entailed when making a winning debut at Yarmouth.

The trainer has high hopes for the daughter of Tasleet, who could have a date at Royal Ascot on the agenda later this season. She was just over two lengths clear of the opposition at the finish on her first appearance and could take a step into deeper waters next time.

“I’ve liked her from day one, I loved her from the moment I laid eyes on her in the parade ring at Doncaster Sales and she hasn’t put a foot out of place since,” said Loughnane.

“Her sire was a very tough sprinter and she looks to have taken after him. We’re very happy and hopefully there is more to come.

“There’s a long way to go before she is a Royal Ascot filly, but she certainly took a big step in that direction at Yarmouth. We’ll have a look at something else before then and the Marygate at York is the obvious choice, but nothing is set in stone just yet.”