Horses To Follow » King Charles

King Charles

King Charles ran a whole lot better than his finishing position suggests in the nine-furlong heritage handicap at Newmarket on 2,000 Guineas day. Jimmy Fortune was just beginning to make his ground on him from midfield towards the stands side when he was fairly badly hampered by Flipando, who switched sharply to his left at that point in order to deliver his challenge. Watching the replay of the race, it didn’t look like Ed Dunlop’s horse was really ever going to catch the leaders even before he was the object of the interference. That said, he ran on really well under just a hands and heels ride after he was impeded, when his chance of winning was clearly gone, to finish sixth, no more than four and a half lengths behind the winner Confront and just three lengths behind the runner-up.

As well as being obviously better than the bare form of this performance suggests, King Charles is a horse who habitually comes on for his seasonal debut. He did run really well to finish third in this race last year, but he had run twice in Dubai as a prelude to that run, so he was effectively having his third run of the season. In his previous two seasons racing, he recording his lowest Racing Post Rating of the year on his seasonal debut. He is entered in a 10-furlong handicap at York next week and, if he takes his chance in that contest, he is worth a second look. Looking further ahead, he appears to be at his best in the autumn, so he is worth keeping in mind for the entire season.

2nd May 2009