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Knight To King a must for the notebook

Knight To King bounds clear Knight To King bounds clear
© Photo Healy Racing

Irish Derby entrant Knight To King put in a marvellous debut performance in the three-year-old colts and geldings' maiden at Gowran Park.

The regally-bred son of Kingman out of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Nightime is a half-brother to former global superstar Ghaiyyath.

He went off 10/11 to make a winning start and in truth his backers didn't have a moment's worry.

Chris Hayes sent him into an early led and he tanked along over this extended nine furlong trip.

One backhander was administered over a furlong out and he readily moved further clear inside the final furlong to rout the field by seven and a half lengths. Mr King was best of the rest at 10/1 and was four and a half lengths clear of Lygon Street (9/4).

“He's a really nice colt, he had been working exceptionally well. All the family take a little bit of time and we're in no hurry with him,” said Dermot Weld.

“He's come forward in the last few weeks. He's a very good-actioned horse, so I didn't bother with him in the spring on heavy ground. Please God, we've lots to look forward to.

“It's a great family for us and he's always shown us talent. He was very immature, mentally and physically but he's coming forward nicely.

“I'll have a chat with Maurice Regan and we'll decide where we go with him. I won't make any decision until I see how he comes home and comes out of the race.

“Obviously, we'll go into stakes level with him now, there are many ideas in my mind.

“He's very straightforward and I said if there was no pace to make the running on him. The one thing we didn't want was a messy race with no pace.

"He was out there in front, he has a lot to learn. I think he jumped the road and Chris said he looked at everything. He'll learn a lot today and he's a real good colt in the making.

“He quickened up the Old Vic the other day like a horse that would be very effective, even, over six furlongs.”

When asked to compare him to others in the family he added:“ I think he's pretty similar to them. They all progress and get better with age, they are all very good thank-God. Hopefully, he'll follow in their footsteps.

“He showed so much pace the other morning that I was surprised, in some ways, but he's bred to get a mile-and-a-half.

“The reason that I came here today with this colt is because it's beautiful ground here in Gowran.”

He also revealed he has a two-year-old relative to Ghaiyyath in training: “We have a very nice full-brother to Ghaiyyath called Duraji that we like a lot.”

Additional reporting by Gary Carson

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About Michael Graham
Michael has worked in horse racing journalism for more than 15 years, having also written a weekly betting column on Gaelic football and hurling for a newspaper. He is involved in writing the My Racing Story features on this website. He spent a year in South Africa completing a Diploma in Business Administration and also studied Newspaper Journalism in Belfast. He enjoys playing 5-a-side football on a regular basis.