Mon | Dec 6, 2021

King Arthur poised for World Vet Day Trophy

Published:Saturday | April 24, 2021 | 12:15 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
King Arthur, ridden by Anthony Thomas.
King Arthur, ridden by Anthony Thomas.

BACK-TO-FORM Jamaica Derby-winner, KING ARTHUR, should easily land this afternoon’s JRC World Vet Day Trophy at a mile after reporting off a three-month plus break with a fast-time win at five furlongs straight, collaring speedy BASILICUS a furlong out to clock 57.0 on April 8.

Importee EXCESSIVE FORCE returned to beat non-winners-of-four at a mile after closing to place second behind KING ARTHUR on last, a near 10-length victory in 1:39.4, a scary prospect for the eight rivals the derby winner faces, none of whom have ever won more than one overnight allowance event.

KING ARTHUR really came into his own at the back end of last season, joining NIPSTER as improved three-year-olds off the COVID-19 lay-up, culminating in a narrow victory over his rival in the 12-furlong Jamaica Derby in October.

However, after nearly 50 furlongs worth of races from August to October, KING ARTHUR soured somewhat in the last two months of the year, taking on some of the country’s best horses in open allowance, straight out of his classic campaign.

Whereas NIPSTER seemed to have thrived on races, beating the best in the land – SENTIENT, TOONA CILIATA and company – at eight and a half furlongs in the Ian Levy Cup on Boxing Day, KING ARTHUR finished last and was not seen again until three Thursdays ago when he romped home among non-winners-of-four.

It’s best advised to find a second-place horse for the exacta. Outside of SUPREME SOUL and MARQUESAS, look around for runners known to occasionally spring a big race, the likes of PURPLE WAYNE or EXTRUDER. That’s the only way to salvage a buck from the event.