Sun | Sep 19, 2021

King Arthur to rule in feature

Published:Saturday | July 31, 2021 | 12:07 AMAinsley Walters/Gleaner Writer
KING ARTHUR, with Anthony Thomas aboard.
KING ARTHUR, with Anthony Thomas aboard.

APART from the distance of nine furlongs and 25 yards and a glaring 13lb swing in EAGLE ONE’s weight, there’s not hardly any difference between Saturday’s Legal Light Trophy and the King’s Plate at seven furlongs four weeks ago.

Six of seven runners have returned. SENTIENT, who had bolted after entering the track for the King’s Plate races a grade lower, among overnight allowance runners in the seventh event, whereas ROY ROGERS gets a well-deserved rest.

That leaves KING ARTHUR and old rival, NIPSTER, to lock horns again, the first round being an anticlimax in the King’s Plate. Considering his manner of victory in the King’s Plate, it’s hard not to back KING ARTHUR despite NIPSTER being taken to task at exercise.

Since changing barns after a fast-time victory last Boxing Day when running for Gary Subratie, annihilating the best horses in the land at eight and a half furlongs, KING ARTHUR included, NIPSTER has not been able to recapture that form at Anthony Nunes’ yard.

NIPSTER was humbled by KING ARTHUR in the King’s Plate, twice beaten by new stablemate ONEOFAKIND, his only spark being a victory over sprinter TREVOR’S CHOICE at six and a half furlongs, which was hardly anything to write home about, considering the distance and the speedster being only six pounds lighter.

Derby-winner, KING ARTHUR, on the other hand, has certainly trained on as a four-year-old, unlike NIPSTER, who had narrowly defeated him in the St Leger. Showing versatility in the King’s Plate, KING ARTHUR was actually pressing for the lead and went through three and a half furlongs out, leaving a hard-ridden NIPSTER in his wake.

Though beating NIPSTER by a length and a quarter, at no stage in the stretch run did KING ARTHUR yield an inch of ground, except when being eased at the wire by Anthony Thomas while Robert Halledeen was flaying his mount.

Back at the top of his game, KING ARTHUR should make amends for his near miss at the trip on June 5 when going down by a length to finish fourth behind ONEOFAKIND, CRIMSON and HOVER CRAFT. That afternoon, the normally sedate Thomas needlessly went after ROY ROGERS too early and paid the price aboard KING ARTHUR, who was second time out off a lay-up.

Jason DaCosta should have a great afternoon with at least three winners, KING ARTHUR crowning FEARLESS CHAMPION and HEART OF THE SEA.