Kingsgate Native wins the Achilles Stakes at Haydock on Saturday
PICTURE: Martin Lynch (racingpost.com/photos)
HE MAY be ten years old now but Kingsgate Native showed he can still mix it with the kids as he scorched to victory in the Listed Achilles Stakes at Haydock.
He had at least four years on all of his seven rivals, who included race favourite Music Master, a Group 3 winner and Group 1-placed last season.
Age trumped youth on this occasion, with former jumps jockey Graham Lee striking late on the evergeen Kingsgate Native to secure a one and a quarter-length win over Out Do. Music Master trailed home in last.
The veteran sprinter had not won at this sort of level since his 2013 Temple Stakes victory over the same course and distance, but clearly retains both his enthusiasm and his talent.
A grand horse
Matthew Sigsworth, representing the owners Cheveley Park Stud, said: “He’s been a grand horse over the years, he won the Nunthorpe at two and the Golden Jubilee at three, but didn’t make it at stud. Robert Cowell has done a great job with him.
“He loves Haydock but had no sort of run in the Temple, [he] didn’t really have a race there so we decided to run him again. He’s not in at Royal Ascot, we’ll give him a bit of a break now.”
Kingsgate Native winning the Temple Stakes in 2010
PICTURE: Martin Lynch
It was only the seventh win of Kingsgate Native’s 48-run career, although with over £800,000 of prize-money won since his debut in 2007 there is little doubt he has paid his way in the game.
Kingsgate Native’s finest moments came when winning the Nunthorpe in 2007 and the Golden Jubilee (now the Diamond Jubilee) in 2008, both Group 1s.
The veteran obviously has a fondness for Haydock too. As well as Saturday’s victory, he also won the 2010 and 2013 runnings of the Group 2 Temple Stakes.
Retirement and return
Kingsgate Native was retired to stud in 2008 but returned to training the following year after proving something of a disappointment in the breeding barn – he failed to get any mares in foal.
Connections were considering retiring the veteran last year but victory in a Beverley conditions race prompted a rethink.
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