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King’s Gambit glides to London Gold Cup glory

3 minute read

Harry Charlton’s three-year-old makes a mockery of his opening mark at Newbury.

KING'S GAMBIT (right, red cap) winning the London Gold Cup Handicap at Newbury in England.
KING'S GAMBIT (right, red cap) winning the London Gold Cup Handicap at Newbury in England. Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Harry Charlton looks to have another group performer in the making on his hands after King's Gambit destroyed an opening mark of 93 with a commanding triumph in the typically competitive London Gold Cup at Newbury.

A winner over a mile on his second outing at the same venue, King's Gambit subsequently bumped into Bracken's Laugh, who won a valuable conditions event at Chelmsford before finishing runner-up in the Dee Stakes at Chester.

Punters certainly hadn't missed the eye-catching form line, with King's Gambit sent off the 7/2 favourite to make a winning handicap debut in what is usually a red-hot Newbury contest.

Those that took the 7/2 never really had a moment of doubt, with a confident-looking William Buick only having to nudge out his mount to the line after looming up large upsides the front-running Aidan O'Brien-trained Ryan Moore .

Poniros ran on well to get the better of Chantilly for the runner-up spot but that was all they were playing for as the winner stretched away in taking fashion to land the spoils by four lengths.

Persica made up some good late ground down the middle of the track to claim fourth place. 7

The Charlton family have landed the ten-furlong handicap with subsequent Group 1 winners Time Test and Al Kazeem in recent years and with son Harry now solely at the helm, the tradition remained intact.

"Every horse that has won this has been a good horse and Ed Walker said to me in the week, if you are going to win this off 92 you will need to be a Group One horse, you need to be 20lb well-in," said the Beckhampton-based handler.

He said: "80 per cent of the winners are stallions now, it's a proper race.

"We always thought he was a proper horse, but he was exceptionally raw last year and has taken time. The lad who rides him at home would fall off him once a month, he's a tough ride, but he's growing up every day and didn't put a foot wrong there.

"I don't know if he will be a Group 1 horse, we will see, but if he progresses again, we will dare to dream.

"It will hopefully be the Hampton Court next."

Charlton continued: "This was the plan for Hand Of God until he won the Esher Cup, so we switched horses and King's Gambit has come here and Hand Of God will wait for the 10-furlong handicap at Ascot. They are two nice horses."

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