Horses To Follow » King Of Wands

King Of Wands

King Of Wands put up a nice performance to win a listed race over two miles at Sandown on Saturday. John Gosden’s colt travelled well through the race, picked up nicely to take it up a furlong and a half out, and stayed on well, always holding the late lunge of Illustrious Blue, with good stayers like Opinion Poll, the returning Samuel and Group 2 winner Manighar – who admittedly probably wasn’t at his best here – behind.

Watching the race live, it looked as if the winner was looking for the line, it appeared 100 yards out as if Illustrious Blue might even get there, but watching the race again, it looks as if King Of Wands picked up again once Illustrious Blue got close, the runner-up wasn’t making any impression into the lead inside the final 50 yards, suggesting that the winner was idling a little and had more left to give if more had been required.

The son of Galileo was progressive for John Dunlop last season, he beat Darley Sun at Salisbury in June and he was an easy winner of a good 14-furlong handicap at Sandown in July off a mark of 86. This was just his third run for John Gosden. He beat last month’s Curragh Cup winner Tactic over a mile and a half on his debut this season, and he didn’t seem to handle the track when he was well beaten by Holberg, Manighar and Opinion Poll over a mile and a half at Goodwood last month. He was much more at home at Sandown on Saturday.

This was his first attempt at two miles, he saw it out well and he can progress again now over this sort of trip. The fact that he disappointed at Goodwood on his previous run is a bit of a worry if Gosden is thinking about the Goodwood Cup for him, which would be a logical step, although there is a chance that the much longer distance will enable him cope with the track better, in that things won’t be happening too quickly for him. That said, the Doncaster Cup could be a more suitable target. Also, the handicapper has raised him just 1lb to a mark of 106, which may under-estimate his ability over marathon trips. Darley Sun was rated just 94 when he was beaten a neck by Askar Tau in the Doncaster Cup last year.

3rd July 2010

© The Irish Field, 10th July 2010