Horses To Follow » King's Apostle

King’s Apostle

King’s Apostle performed with a lot more merit than his finishing position in fifth place suggests in the July Cup at Newmarket last Friday. Drawn closest the stands rail in stall 15, he jumped well, travelled easily up with the pace, and held a perfect position just behind the leader Main Aim on the near side until they passed the three-furlong pole. From that point, the son of King’s Best came under pressure from Johnny Murtagh.

Racing without the visor that he wore for the first time when he won the Diadem Stakes last September, and for the second time in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot last month, he just got a little tapped for toe as the speedsters joined in on the far side. Even so, they didn’t get too far away from him – he was no more than a length and a half behind ultimate winner Fleeting Spirit at the furlong pole – and he began to run on strongly once he met the rising ground. Shortly afterwards, however, he had his momentum seriously checked when Fleeting Spirit came across the track on to Main Aim, who in turn came right into King’s Apostle’s path. Actually, he was the main sufferer in the scrimmaging. He wouldn’t have got to Fleeting Spirit, but he really was finishing strongly and he would almost certainly have been fourth and he could even have finished second or third without the interference.

King’s Apostle is a high class sprinter. You can easily forgive him his run in the Golden Jubilee. That race was run in such a strange fashion, slow-fast-slow, and on such unfathomable ground that I have put a line through it for form assessment purposes. King’s Apostle is not a really fashionable horse, and he could be under-rated in something like the Sprint Cup at Haydock in September as long as it doesn’t come up too soft. He may be worth another try at seven furlongs now, a distance over which he won as a three-year-old. He was running on so strongly on Friday, just as he was in the Duke of York Stakes in May, that he looks like he would appreciate another furlong again now. He is not in the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, so the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in October could be the race for him now. Of course, he will probably meet Paco Boy in that, but he should be a decent price against him if both of them line up.

10th July 2009

© The Irish Field, 18th July 2009