Talkischeap spoke volumes when landing the valuable bet365 Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Sandown.
Wayne Hutchinson oozed confidence a long way out as two past winners, The Young Master and Step Back, tried to put their rivals under severe pressure.
While several horses wilted under the strain, Talkischeap had plenty left and asserted when Hutchinson pressed the button after the third-last fence.
The 7-1 winner bounded up the hill to lift the spoils by 10 lengths from The Young Master – who survived a bad blunder at the first – with Step Back third.
King said: “I’m not often shocked, but I’m pretty shocked by it all. The gamble midweek, I thought ‘really?’. They obviously knew more than I did.
“He was probably a little bit disappointing at Kempton, but we weren’t firing at the time.
“We’ve been very happy with him, but I didn’t expect that performance. I heard someone say I’ve only had three winners out of 90 runners on Saturday for a while and that didn’t go down very well, but Saturday’s are competitive.
“I think on this ground we didn’t have any doubts about the stamina, but you never know until you try. He was always in the comfort zone. He never missed a beat.
“I’m not a fan of the (Grand) National, but we will have to give it some consideration, I suppose. He (Charles Dingwall, owner) is a great mate and is a pleasure to train for. He has always got his opinion, but is very constructive and helpful.
“It (Ladbrokes Trophy) would be in the equation, but he is probably marginally better going right-handed, although he has run well around Newbury. I suppose he will have an entry in that.”