Horses To Follow » King Torus

King Torus

King Torus was an interesting runner in the Listed City Of York Stakes over seven furlongs on Saturday, his first run since finishing down the field in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp last October. He had previously won the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at the Newmarket July Festival and the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, both over this seven-furlong trip, before he was sent off one of the favourites in Paris.

He was impressive in winning the Vintage Stakes by six lengths, and while it was probably a weak race for the grade, that showed that he is a high class performer over seven furlongs on a sound surface. His Lagardere run was disappointing on the face of it on the back of that, but he had been off since Goodwood before he ran there, and the soft ground at Longchamp wouldn’t have suited this fluent mover at all. As it turns out, the form of the French race is pretty strong with Tin Horse, who dead-heated for second place there, coming out and winning the French Guineas cosily this season, and Moonlight Cloud, who finished fourth, recently winning the Prix Maurice De Gheest by four lengths.

King Torus has obviously had his problems, he didn’t run until now this season, and he was weak in the market before the race. He was favourite in the morning, but no better than joint sixth best in the market at 7/1 by off time. In the race he travelled strongly just behind a strong pace set by Lechevalier Choisi and, after being shaken up briefly passing the three-furlong pole, he was probably still travelling best of all as they passed the quarter-mile point. However, his lack of race fitness just started to tell and he couldn’t pick up as well as one or two of his rivals, but he still ran on nicely to finish fourth, not far behind the front pair.

This run would have helped him enormously, it should bring him on a huge amount, and, as this was only a Listed contest, and he was beaten by the two other three-year-olds in the race, this performance may be slightly under-rated. This race was the fastest comparative race on the day and, although the ground had dried out, it was still no better than good and may still have been slightly sticky, which wouldn’t have been in King Torus’s favour as he seemed at home on top of the ground last season. A son of Oratorio, he can do better on better ground and he will be of big interest wherever he goes next. It would not be a surprise if he were to step back up to Group company.

20th August 2011