Surprisingly friendless in the market at $82 despite his closing third at his first attempt at Class 3 level three weeks ago, the Darci Brahma four-year-old also cut a lonely figure along the fence as the rest of the field went wide around the home turn in Sunday’s $70,000 Class 3 race over 1800m.
After being used up early to find the lead and tow the rest for most of the race, Karisto (Vlad Duric) was hanging on for dear life as the swoopers descended thick and fast.
Given his early exertions, Karisto did a sterling job to hold the fort for as long as he could, but King’s Speech, in contrast, had benefitted from an economical run while taking the shortest way home.
The St George Stable-owned gelding stuck to the task manfully as he edged past Karisto on his inside at the 200m, but still had to contend with a stinging attack from Gold Strike (Michael Rodd) down the middle of the track.
Luckily for King's Speech ($82) and his rider Simon Kok Wei Hoong, the winning post couldn’t have arrived fast enough as they scraped home by a nose from Gold Strike. Solo Sun (Tengku Rehaizat) ran third another length away.
The winning time was 1min 48.45secs for the 1800m on the Long Course.
With trainer Stephen Gray currently in England to oversee Singapore champion sprinter Lim’s Cruiser tilt at Royal Ascot on June 22 (Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes over 1200m), it was his wife Bridget who was on hand to lead in their 11th winner back home.
“Simon rode him well. This horse suits him,” said Gray.
“He didn’t panic at the start and he certainly knows the horse as he won on him two runs back.
“Steve will be glad with today’s winner. He was also very happy with the way Lim’s Cruiser travelled to England.
“He ate and drank well and arrived in England yesterday. It’s onwards and upwards.”
Kok said King’s Speech was certainly in a winning frame of mind scraping paint on Sunday.
“He’s a special horse. I rode him at his previous two runs,” said the Malaysian apprentice jockey.
“Today, he jumped ordinary. He hangs in, it’s not easy to get him out.
“I had to ride him for luck. I was happy with what I had underneath and he seemed happy to be there.
“He’s got the potential to go further.”
With that fourth win from 11 outings, King’s Speech has amassed around $140,000 in prizemoney for Paul Hickman of St George Stable.