The Student Prince

Magnum Mile at Kenilworth on Saturday, UCT RAG Race Day

King Of Pain

Scholarly. The grey King Of Pain sets out to gain a first class pass in Saturday’s Magnum Mile at Kenilworth

The enigmatic Greys Inn gelding King Of Pain gets yet another opportunity to redeem his reputation when he runs in the R110 000 Magnum Mile on the UCT Rag race day at Kenilworth on Saturday. Joey Ramsden’s charge takes on just eight opponents in what amounts to a decent quality little race that should produce a closely fought contest.

A beautiful grey equine athlete named after a pop song. It doesn’t get much more glam and appealing than that and King Of Pain’s love – hate relationship with the punting public is the stuff of recent legend and myth. And much headbanging for his charismatic champion trainer. Tipped, fancied and punted to win on countless occasions, King Of Pain just somehow hasn’t put it all together.

Maybe Saturday will be his day and he gets fitted with the blinkers again. He certainly did fairly well with the headgear previously. King Of Pain had won five of his first 7 starts when scoring a brilliant victory in the 2012 Gr2 Selangor Cup over Capetown Noir. It can only be pure frustration for his connections that that was his last win and despite various decent placed efforts in the ensuing fourteen months, he just hasn’t won again.

Made To Conquer?

His most recent start was in the J&B Met a fortnight ago, when he ran a midfield eighth and 4,40 lengths behind Hill Fifty Four. Joey Ramsden was quoted after the big race: “The Met itself did not go our way and King of Pain never travelled well enough to even get in the hunt. He probably finished fastest of all but sadly there are no prizes for doing that. We will now have to find some way to get him to travel better in a race. He is the sort of horse that will not travel well, regardless of the distance, but will always find a strong finish.”

On his L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate run, he appears to have the beating of a horse like Castlethorpe who he gives 1kg here, but who finished just under six lengths behind him at level weights over the course and distance. Drawn against the paint and with Bernard Fayd’herbe up, we are leaning towards giving King Of Pain another chance. Magnum are also Ramsden’s sponsors, so there would be plenty of happy synergy in the winner’s circle.

Bass Quartet

Mike Bass saddles four of the nine runners. Castlethorpe bounced back to his best under Anton Marcus when winning an MR 99 Handicap over the course and distance on Met day. He beat the 3yo Roman Manner a short head and comes back on worse terms with stablemates Night Trip (2,15 lengths and 2,5 kgs) and Hammie’s Dynasty (5, 5 lengths and 3 kgs) as well as M’Lords Throat(4,75 lengths and 5 kgs).

That win was achieved after a dull spell and significant tumble in his merit rating over time and Castlethorpe, who will be ridden by Sean Cormack, needs to show that he can maintain that level of form.


The grey Ze Kaiser looks an interesting prospect after being outclassed behind Master Of My Fate in the Peninsula Handicap last time. He received 7kgs from King Of Pain when beating him a length at his penultimate outing over the course and distance and now has a turnaround of 3kgs with Ramsden’s grey. That could make it tough, but Ze Kaiser is generally inconsistent and he should not be discounted.

Hammie’s Dynasty and Night Trip are the balance of the Bass quartet and both look pressured to win this. Hammie’s Dynasty is well drawn and has Karl Neisius up, while Night Trip ran on well behind Castlethorpe on Met day.

Long Rest

The Marshall duo of Black Toga and Tribal Dance should not trouble the top three. Tribal Dance returns from a 32 week break after an ordinary unplaced effort in the Durban July. He should need the run. Black Toga has not risen to the heights predicted of him as a 3yo, but did run a fair third in a msall field over 1200m last time out. He will still have to do more and looks likely to set the pace here.


Justin Snaith saddles the Silvano gelding M’Lords Throat, who is another to have run behind Castlethorpe in that handicap mile on Met Day. M’Lords Throat drops 5kgs after being beaten 4,75 lengths by Castlethorpe and is the sort that could go up and make the running. It is a little disconcerting though that he last won in PE, but he could challenge for the places.


Glen Kotzen’s Political Playboy comes in on bottomweight and gets all of ten kgs from King Of Pain. He has won twice over a mile. The one eyed son of Dehere has not won in close on a year and while he has not been finishing far off, he will need to up his game to challenge here.


Joey Ramsden has not incorporated a pacemaker for King Of Pain in this race, although it is likely that Black Toga and M’Lords Throat will go out to set the fractions. If it is a crawl, there could be an upset. Ze Kaiser has some weight to make up, but improved nicely in the blinkers and is another who will enjoy a hot pace. Castlethorpe is difficult to assess and his last outing may have been a flash in the pan.

He admittedly ran a good race last time and based on his previous highest lifetime rating, he could eat this lot for breakfast. He can also sprint fairly well, so a sedentary pace could well suit him. But he has been beset by problems and his aches and pains will be capitalised upon by the younger runners. Nothing like a bit of melodrama on a student raceday!

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