PETER Moody is confident Magnus can become the latest Australian-trained sprinter to upstage the home team in the King’s Stand Stakes.
Third last year behind fellow antipodean raider Miss Andretti, the six-year-old entire lines up in today’s Group One contest at Royal Ascot on the back of a close second in Singapore.
On that occasion he was beaten by the reopposing Takeover Target, who won this race in 2006, but Moody is looking forward to the rematch over the minimum trip with conditions ideal for Magnus.
Moody said: “Everything seems pretty good here and even if we get a shower of rain it wouldn’t bother us as long as it doesn’t affect things too much.
“The speed and the pressure of the race all seems to be drawn pretty much together down the stands rail and we’re going in with a no-excuses preparation.
“I don’t know too much about the filly, Fleeting Spirit, so it’s a bit hard to get a line on her, but if she’s going as well as him then she’ll take some beating.
“But I do know how well he looks and how well he’s going and I think it’s going to be a terribly big task to beat him.”
Kingsgate Native was thrown in at the deep end when making his debut at the Royal meeting last year but John Best’s stable star went very close when second in the Windsor Castle.
He went on to secure the Nunthorpe and big-race partner Jimmy Quinn is looking forward to being reunited when he has his first start as a three-year-old.
Quinn said: “I’m really looking forward to it, he’s a nice ride and we seem to be drawn well so I just hope things fall right for us.
“I had a sit on him a couple of weeks ago and he seemed in good nick and did a nice bit of work that day, although we didn’t do anything too stupid on him.
“Kingsgate is a three-year-old now and we’re taking on the same sort of horses as we did in the Abbaye and I’d be confident of beating them again, although Benbaun on his day would be hard to beat.
“These are probably the best sprinters in the world and I do worry about Fleeting Spirit as I think she’s pretty good, and you’ve of course got to respect the Australian horses.”
Fleeting Spirit has been ante-post favourite since winning the Temple Stakes on her return and Newmarket trainer Jeremy Noseda has been happy with her preparation.
“I am very happy with Fleeting Spirit. Her build-up has gone well and she appears to be in tip-top order,” he told www.jeremynoseda.com.
“It looks as if she will get her favoured fast ground, now we’ll just ask for a good break and a little bit of luck in running.”
Two-time Group One winner Reverence will not be risked unless the rains arrive to soften the Ascot turf and North Yorkshire trainer Bryan Smart has issued a similar warning regarding Captain Gerrard.
“If there’s no rain he won’t run. If he had his conditions he’d have a good chance,” he said.
“If he doesn’t run tomorrow, he’ll probably go for the Nunthorpe.”
Smart will be represented by Moorhouse Lad regardless, although he feels that speedy inmate faces a stiff task on his first appearance of 2008.
“It’s a bold shot first time out, but he’s in good order,” Smart added.
King’s Stand Stakes, Paddy Power bet:
9-4 Fleeting Spirit, 5-1 Takeover Target, 8-1 Magnus, Kingsgate Native, 9-1 Benbaun, 11-1 Dandy Man, 16-1 Captain Gerrard, Equiano, 20-1 Hoh Mike, National Colour, 25-1 Moorhouse Lad, Enticing, 33-1 Bar.
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