Trainer Stephen Gray will give King’s Speech his first 2000m test in the S$70,000 Class 3 race this Friday, keeping fingers crossed it will chart a path towards a golden prize in November.
The son of Darci Brahma was last being prepped up towards the Singapore Derby (1800m) on July 21, but was disappointingly left out as the third emergency in the end.
He ran in the Derby Consolation stakes, a Class 3 race over 1800m, closing off pleasingly for fifth, less than four lengths off the winner, Gold Strike, who was also the second Derby reserve.
The Derby wasn’t meant to be, but Gray is still hopeful the Paul Hickman-owned four-time winner (1200m, 1400m, 1600m and 1800m) can become a Singapore Gold Cup contender one day.
“He keeps improving this horse. He couldn’t make it for the Derby, but he ran well in the other race,” said the Kiwi handler.
“He got a long way back after he drew wide, and made good ground carrying the big weight.
“There was a 2000m race this Friday, we had to give him a run, as there are not many options for him.
“We’ll give him a first test over 2000m and hope he comes through well. He’s not a big horse, but he’s nice and happy and deserves a shot.
“If things go well, he could be a Gold Cup horse.”
The Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) on November 10 is the country’s premier handicap feature race which Gray captured once with Bahana in 2016.
It is the third and final Leg of the Singapore Triple Crown series. The first two Legs are the Raffles Cup (1600m) on September 22 and the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1800m) on October 20
Gray has booked a rider who knows King’s Speech well for having partnered him at two of his four wins - leading apprentice jockey Simon Kok Wei Hoong.
“Simon Kok will ride him this Friday. He knows him well as he won twice on him,” said Gray. -STC