AON Greenham Stakes
|Group 3, Newbury
7f, Class 1
|Saturday 12th April 2014|
1 Kingman 15/8F
2 Night Of Thunder 11/4
3 Master Carpenter 80/1
10 ran Distances: 4½l, 2¾l, ½l
TIME 1m 26.95s (slow by 3.95s)
Kingman produced a Frankel-esque performance to turn the Aon Greenham Stakes into a procession at Newbury.
Confidently settled in mid-division of the 10-runner Group Three trial by James Doyle, the John Gosden-trained colt (15-8 favourite) cruised effortlessly on to the quarters of long-time leader Astaire before unleashing an electric turn of foot.
Carrying the same Khalid Abdullah silks as 2011 Greenham winner Frankel, the son of Invincible Strike left Night Of Thunder in his wake through the final furlong, streaking clear for a four-and-a-half-length success.
Gosden said: "He's been in good order this spring and has worked well on the bridle. He's pleased me in everything he has done. We came here for a trial and he has passed his trial well.
"I was really happy with how he settled, and we were thrilled with how he picked up. Without doubt he has the highest cruising speed of any horse I've trained over this trip - seven furlongs and a mile.
"It's well documented that he got a chip in an ankle last year and to that extent, and so early in his three-year-old career, the last thing you want to do with a young horse would be to run on fast ground, but hopefully it will be good ground (at Newmarket) and we will be there.
"He's a proper horse, there's the Guineas and hopefully there's other races down the other road. I think we'll be staying at a mile. I couldn't be happier with him."
Doyle added: "It's great to have a horse like him to look forward to. It's brilliant for me and I'm enjoying the job (as retained rider to Abdullah) very much.
"People forget that at Sandown (Solario Stakes win) it was a small field and they didn't go very fast but he picked up really well. I've ridden him at home and that wasn't a surprise to me."
Richard Hannon said of Night Of Thunder: "He has beaten by a very good horse, but he has run a super race. You can't not go for a Guineas on the back of one horse, but the ground might suit him better in France, so he could go there."
Aon Greenham Stakes
£60,000 added, 3yo only, 7f, Class 1
Going: Good, Good to Soft in places
J H M Gosden
|15 - 8
||Night Of Thunder
|R L Moore
|11 - 4
4 1/2 lengths
B R Millman
|80 - 1
2 3/4 lengths
|J P Spencer
|8 - 1
K A Ryan
|11 - 2
S bin Suroor
|S De Sousa
|14 - 1
B J Meehan
|33 - 1
||No Leaf Clover
|66 - 1
P F I Cole
|9 - 1
2 1/2 lengths
R A Fahey
|25 - 1
1 3/4 length
Rod Millman is looking forward to the rest of the season with Master Carpenter after the colt exceeded expectations when grabbing third place on Saturday.
Millman had thought of possibly not running the Mastercraftsman colt when he saw the class of the opposition, but stuck to his guns and was rewarded with a fine effort.
"When I first mooted the idea of the Greenham, I looked at previous years and there were one or two good horses every year and the rest were not so good," said the Devon trainer.
"I thought there'd only be five or six runners and maybe we'd get a bit of place money. It turned out the most competitive Greenham for a long time. I thought of pulling him out, but he's run a blinder.
"He'd been working super. Last year everything went wrong after Royal Ascot, but he put on a lot of weight over the winter and he ran a cracking race. We were chuffed to bits and we'll talk to Cheveley Park where we go next. They bought into the horse last year.
"He'd get whatever trip you aimed him at. I think he'll get a mile plus, and obviously he's effective at seven.
"I thought we'd go over seven or a mile next time. There are couple of options, but we haven't put any sexy entries in for him as he didn't warrant any until yesterday.
"I don't think we'll supplement for anything, but I'll talk it over with Cheveley Park. They'll have more experience at placing Group horses than me.
"With a bit of luck he should be a fun horse for the next 12 months. We haven't had a good horse since Sergeant Cecil."
Connections of Berkshire, who has entries in the Qipco 2000 Guineas and Investec Derby, ruined his chance by running too freely and pulling far too hard in the early stages.
The Paul Cole-trained colt beat only one horse home as Kingman ran out a most impressive winner.
"Berkshire's fine and he's sound this morning. I think we have to go back to the drawing board and get him to settle after he pulled that hard," said Cole's son and assistant, Oliver.
"We'll talk to the owners and see what they want to do. Options are still open. We will have to see how he comes out of the race and go from there."
Astaire is to concentrate on sprinting after failing to last out the seven furlongs.
Trainer Kevin Ryan will now aim the colt at the Group Two Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes at York on May 14.
"Astaire's fine. He just didn't stay and he'll go back to sprinting now," said the North Yorkshire handler. "He'll probably go for the Duke Of York now, that will be his next target."