Former South African Equus Champion, KINGS GAMBIT saw off challengers from all sides in the final stages of this Group 3 contest as he made every yard of the running under an inspired ride from Jamie Spencer.
Spencer bounced his mount into an early lead from where he was always able to dictate matters. The consistent seven-year-old, who was sent off a 5-1 chance, pulled clear racing down the back straight and despite racing wide off the final bend, proved too good for the chasing pack.
Afsare, Black Spirit and Shamali came at him on the outside as they raced into the final three furlongs. After appearing to have the measure of that trio he then had to cope with the finish of Nouriya on the inside as they approached the final furlong.
The challenge of that one soon petered out though and it was Black Spirit under Luke Morris who threw down the gauntlet to Kings Gambit at the death of the race as he came at the leader with a renewed vigour.
The Tom Tate-trained son of Silvano responded to his rider’s urgings though and dug deep to win by a short head from the 16-1 shot, Black Spirit.
Spencer said: “I spoke with Mr Tate this morning and we decided it was best to take advantage of his race fitness by making it a proper test.
“At the three pole they had four lengths to make up on me and I was able to get a breather into him and he’s picked up all the way to the line.”
This was a first win for the South African-bred son of Silvano, Kings Gambit since he won on his seasonal debut at Ripon last season but he was not winning out of turn having finished inthe frame in six of his eight starts since.
BET365 GORDON RICHARDS S. (Eng-G3)
SANDOWN PARK, England, April 23, $82,580, 4&up, abt11⁄4mT, good, 2:08.01.
1st—KINGS GAMBIT (SAF), 126, Ch. g. 6, Silvano (Ger)—Lady Brompton (SAf), by Al Mufti. Owner—Mrs. F. Hay; Breeder—Danika Stud (SAf); Trainer—T. P. Tate. $46,881. 24-6-6-2, $401,912.
2nd—BLACK SPIRIT, 126, B. c. 4, Black Minnaloushe—L’Extra Honor, by Hero’s Honor. $17,771.
3rd—SHAMALI (GB), 126, Ch. g. 6, Selkirk—=Shamaiel (Ire), by Lycius. $8,894.
Margins: nose, 2 1/4, 2 1/4.
Also ran: Nouriya (GB) 123 ($4,435), Viscount Nelson 126 ($2,221), =Afsare (GB) 126 ($1,115).