08/17/2014 12:58PM

Kingman proves adept on soft turf in Prix Jacques le Marois


The brilliance of Kingman extends to major races run on soft turf.

Sunday, Kingman emphasized his status as Europe’s leading miler with a comprehensive win in the $810,000 Prix Jacques le Marois, the top mile race of the summer meeting at Deauville, France. The Jacques le Marois was the fourth consecutive Group 1 win for Kingman, who was not a definite runner until hours before the race.

There was concern about the soft turf at Deauville following rain in recent days, but owner Khalid Abdullah gave his approval to run Kingman.

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“It was Prince Khalid’s decision, which made it easy for me,” trainer John Gosden said after the race. “I didn’t have to make one.”

Ridden by regular rider James Doyle, Kingman was last of five for the first five furlongs on the straightaway course. Doyle moved Kingman closer to the front with a quarter-mile remaining and got a quick response from the colt.

Kingman (2-5) won by 2 1/2 lengths over 18-1 Anodin, who was followed by Olympic Glory, Rizeena, and Red Dubawi. Esoterique, the winner of the Group 1 Prix Rothschild at Deauville on Aug. 3, was scratched because of the condition of the course.

Kingman was timed in 1:41.90.

“I thought for the ground he quickened well,” Gosden said. “He wasn’t in love with the ground, but his class showed. He wasn’t bothered by anything. The jockeys said they were going so slow, that he was ready to get on with it.”

Kingman, by Invincible Spirit, has won 7 of 8 starts.

His Group 1 wins earlier this year were the Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh in May, the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood Racecourse on July 30.

Gosden said the $1.66 million Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on Oct. 18 is likely to be Kingman’s next and final start for 2014.

The Prix Jacques le Marois is part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees-paid berth for the winner to the BC Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 1. There is no indication that Kingman will be considered for that race.

Anodin, who was third in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, is considered a candidate for the BC Mile.