Crown the King in Race 8
KING D showed just how improved he was when, not only stepping up in class to Grade Three, but going a furlong-and-a-half longer, losing in a driving finish at 1300 metres behind SOY EL SENOR on Diamond Mile Day.
Speedy and full of fight, with his class now exposed, the chestnut colt will be hard to tag at 1100 metres in Saturday's War Zone Sprint.
KING D skipped the summer and returned a different animal off a five-month break in October, clocking an unbelievable 1:05.4 for 1100 metres in a six-length win.
Asked to follow up at 1000 metres straight in his next race, November 5, he swerved at the start and was left flat-footed by DANCING QUEEN and PURE AMAZEMENT, finishing fifth behind a fast 57.0.
Three weeks later, KING D set the record straight with a battling victory over RALLY BABY on the round course, again posting a fast time, 59.1.
After lasting home by a neck, Spencer Chung's colt was kicked out of the betting, 38-1, when he lined up against what could be considered the second tier of top three-year-olds at 1300 metres on Diamond Mile Day, December 10.
Well, he hopped to the front and ran WILL IN CHARGE and BIRD CATCHER ragged for six-and-a-quarter furlongs, setting splits of 23.3, 47.0 and 1:11.3, resulting in a gift to SOY EL SENOR, who closed for the kill at the wire in a five-horse photo.
WILL IN CHARGE and BIRD CATCHER returned last Saturday to close the exacta at a mile, controlling the Seymour 'Foggy' Mullings Memorial restricted stakes event from start to finish.
Definitely the fastest in the line-up, KING D loves running from in front and should be able to coast to the top of the lane before changing gears after running rivals into the ground.
Apprentice Bebeto Harvey is aboard, breaking from gate three, one of his many live rides in his battle with Omar Walker atop the jockeys' championship. Walker partners Wayne DaCosta's LOTTERY TICKET, who doesn't have the best of draws at post-position one.
LOTTERY TICKET stormed home under Walker last time out to beat LUNAR ROCKET and BLUE MOON at 1100 metres in a fast 1:05.4 but should find Saturday's pace more unyielding.
Should the likes of SIMPLY THE BEST and DR BANNER gang up on KING D and make it really miserable for Harvey on the lead, the horse to watch from off the pace is Gary Subratie's CLASSY AVIATOR.