Former kiwi galloper Kingsguard upset the applecart when he scored over 1400 metres at Rosehill on Saturday.
Raced in New Zealand as His Majesty, the now five-year-old had shown plenty of ability in his first six starts, including running second to star galloper Xtravagant at Ellerslie, before being sent across the Tasman by his owners, Windsor Park Stud.
Placed in the care of the Hawkes Racing team and with a name change to Kingsguard, the Rip Van Winkle gelding has now won four of his 13 Australian starts and looks to have furnished into a potential stakes performer given his most recent success.
“He had shown us plenty before he went across to Sydney especially with that run at Ellerslie where he pushed Xtravagant hard,” noted Windsor Park manager and co-owner, Rodney Schick.
“He has had a few niggles and issues to work through which has held him back a little but this preparation looks like being his best now he seems to be over those problems.
“Michael (Hawkes) rang me on Saturday and said he was confident of a big run and his judgment was spot-on.
“He got smacked over the head by a whip at the 100 metre mark when he was pushing into a gap so it was a pretty gutsy performance.”
While Schick couldn’t be in Sydney to celebrate the victory, he was sure his brother Johnny and a bunch of his friends who share in the ownership of the horse would definitely have made up for him.
“He raced for the Stud when he was running in New Zealand but when we sent him to Australia we asked my brother whether he had anyone who might want to get involved,” he explained.
“Johnny got a few of his friends interested and they came on board. He’s now won four for us so you couldn’t ask for a better experience for those guys.
“At this stage, he will be kept to racing in his grade but if he continues to improve then a start in a stakes race later in the season is a definite possibility.” – NZ Racing Desk