Sixth furlong on Native radar

John Best is confident last year’s Nunthorpe winner Kingsgate Native will be able to handle the step up to six furlongs.

The colt proved something of a revelation in 2007, narrowly missing out on a debut win at Royal Ascot before going on to again lose out by a tiny margin in Group Three company.

However, Kingsgate Native then became the first juvenile winner of York’s Nunthorpe in 15 years when beating Desert Lord before taking second behind Benbaun on his final start in the Prix de l’Abbaye.

Each of those runs came over five furlongs and although Best is planning to start off over that distance in the King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot on June 17, the son of Mujadil could then have his sights raised.

“He’s been bought by Cheveley Park, although John Mayne has the horse for this year, so there will have to be a discussion between all of us as to the plans,” Best said.

“I think it’s important we do try to step him up. I think he will stay (six furlongs), I don’t think it will be a problem.

“I don’t think he’s an out-and-out five-furlong horse but we won’t know until we try.

“His first race will be the King’s Stand. He’s also in the Golden Jubilee so I suppose if he were to win the King’s Stand, we might possibly be forced into running in the Golden Jubilee provided he came out of the race OK.

“He’s alo in the July Cup but that is a stiff six and we will have to see where we go,” he told At The Races.

“He’s not done a piece of work yet this year. He’s only been cantering as we’ve got another five weeks to go. We’ll be starting to step him up over the next couple of weeks and he’ll go for a racecourse spin before the King’s Stand.”

William Hill make Kingsgate Native a 12-1 shot for the Ascot Group One.

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