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Monday 17 June 2013

The Kings Stand Stakes

Sorry for the late post tonight but didn't get home from work until 8.30pm, no rest for the wicked !

The Kings Stand Stakes - Ascot
History : First run in 1860 as the The Queens Stand Stakes/Plate over the 2 year old course of about 6f. The distance was reduced to 5f in 1907 with the name of the race having changed to The Kings Stand Stakes in 1901.
Draw Record last 5 years :
2012 : 7, 8, 22, 3 (22 ran) Good to Soft
2011 : 14, 18, 10, 15 (19 ran) Gd
2010 : 11, 4, 3, 5 (12) Gd
2009 : 1, 15, 14, 9 (15) Good to Firm
2008 : 11, 9, 12, 1 (13) Good to Firm
Age of Winner - 6, 6, 5, 5, 3
2012 Result - 1st Little Bridge, 2nd Bated Breath, 3rd Sole Power, 4th Medicean Man
2011 : 1st Prohibit, 2nd Star Witness, 3rd Sweet Sanette, 4th Overdose
2010 : 1st Equiano, 2nd Markab, 3rd Borderlescott, 4th Nicconi
2012 Review - The whole field came up the centre of the track. The winner took up the lead a furlong out and was always holding the second.
Time - 59.69s

Trainer Comments :
Mike De Kock - Shea Shea "His work has always been good. In Dubai when we worked him he flew. He was also training while in quarantine, albeit not as hard as normal. I actually think the uphill finish might suit him as he gets going late. Ascot will be different to what he's used to but he has been to the July Course to work and up the Long Hill gallop so he has had a good go at undulations. Horses cope with most of things we throw at them. He's happy, his coat is good, he's eating well and his work has been exceptional. I'm hoping he is in good form. His best form has been on fast ground, though I'm told he has won on soft. Dubai was very fast and firm and he liked that. Christophe Soumillon has a good feel for the horse. It would be great to have the win on the CV but if you look at his form, including in South Africa, he's either won or come nowhere. There's no grey area in between so we hope it's another win at Ascot."

Danny O'Brien - Shamexpress "He's a horse in a really good space and I think he is still improving - on an upward spiral. I expect him to show that on Tuesday and his next few runs should be the best of his career. We were close enough when running second (with Star Witness) to know that we had got most of the preparation right. We are sticking to a similar formula and hoping we can go one better. He is going for the July Cup at Newmarket as well and therefore we thought one run at Ascot would be what he needs. The reason we have chosen the King's Stand Stakes over the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot is because he has not run for three and a months and will be a bit fresh. It is also a stiff five furlongs which will be ideal for him at this stage."

Clive Cox - Reckless Abandon "We've got that run (at Haydock) under our belt now, which I think is important, especially from a sprinter's point of view. From a sprinting mentality more than physically it does them the world of good. I'm really pleased that's put him on his game. From the end of June and July onwards three-year-olds get a bit of help with weight for age from their elders, but there aren't that many opportunities early in the year. For that reason the Temple was the logical place to go and he acquitted himself really well. The ground looks as though it will be near good for the first day and he's a course and distance winner."

Edward Lynam - Sole Power "Last year it was good to soft at Ascot and he ran well, which people forget, so as he gets older he's less ground dependent. He loves a fast pace, looking at the draw (stall 14) he has pace around him in Bungleinthejungle and Reckless Abandon, the one negative if I could pick the draw is I'd rather have Shea Shea (stall five) on our side. If Shea Shea brings his Dubai form to Ascot it won't matter what the rest of us do. The first time we met him at Meydan he broke the track record, then he went and smashed it the second time. We actually broke the old track record both times but one time we were only fourth. If he turns up like that at Ascot I can't see him getting beat but we'll give it a go, our horse is in good form. I think Johnny (Murtagh) is the key to him, his improved consistency is down to him and they'll be going for three in a row in England together."

David Redvers - Pearl Secret "Jamie Spencer rode Pearl Secret in a pretty serious piece of work last week and he really couldn't have been more impressed. It's obviously a huge call running him in a race like this first time out, but the only two opportunities we've had to run him was on the road (fast ground) and being by Compton Place, that's not what he wants. David Barron is keen to run him, he should get his ground and we think he is going to run a very big race.

Robert Cowell - Kingsgate Native, Prohibit and Spirit Quartz "All three of them are ready to go and are in good order. Spirit Quartz is as fit as a flea and looks fantastic at the moment. He's a very straightforward horse and Joseph O'Brien rides him. He's ridden him before and it won't be a problem. Kingsgate Native was very good in the Temple Stakes and with him it all boils down to how he behaves in the pre-parade ring and the parade ring beforehand. If he's on his best behaviour and stays calm, we know he'll run a massive race. If he gets upset, you can pretty much put a line through it. Prohibit only ran the other day and it's a day out for him as much as anything. We're not expecting too much. I hope both Spirit Quartz and Kingsgate Native can finish in the first four or five and maybe do even better than that, we'll see."

Jeremy Gask - Medicean Man "I'm very happy with him and I'm happy with the draw (stall nine) and the track conditions. He did well out in Dubai earlier in the year, but I think by the time it came round to World Cup night, he'd had enough. He seems in really good form at the moment and I think he deserves to take his chance. If Shea Shea turns up in the same form he did in Dubai, he's going to be very hard to beat, but this is Ascot, it's a different track for him, so we'll see. We know our horse loves it there."

I'm going to be uncontroversial and go for Shea Shea who proved himself to be a top sprinter in South Africa and showed that he was the best at the Dubai Carnival, winning the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in course record time and in doing so setting the best time figure on offer here. In a race won seven times in last 10 years by overseas challengers he looks like the likely winner from a good draw in stall 5 and the 5/2 with Paddy Power could look generous tomorrow when the race has finished.