King revels in golden Ascot treble

Trainer had been better known for his jumpers.

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Alan King is in no rush to commit Who Dares Wins to future targets after he completed a Royal Ascot treble for the yard on Saturday.

The Barbury Castle handler may be better known for his exploits in the National Hunt sphere, but enjoyed an unforgettable week at Flat racing’s showpiece meeting – with the Queen Alexandra success of Who Dares Wins adding to the triumphs of Coeur De Lion in the Ascot Stakes and Scarlet Dragon in the Duke of Edinburgh.

King said: “It’s been an amazing week. I haven’t been at Ascot myself but we’ve played hard, that’s for sure!”

The remarkable Who Dares Wins now has a Royal Ascot success on a CV that also includes victory in the Northumberland Plate, a Grade Two win over hurdles and a Grade Two win over fences.

“I was absolutely delighted with the old boy. He’s not the kind of horse that goes and wins by a long way as he only ever does enough, which is probably why he’s lasted so long,” King added.

“We thought he had a very good chance on Saturday with the way conditions were, so there was a bit of pressure on. It was great to see him go and do the job.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do with him now. The Northumberland Plate is this coming Saturday, so that’s too soon. Is he handicapped to win a Cesarewitch? I’m not sure.

“We’ll see how he is in the next week or so and I’m sure Henry (Ponsonby, owner) will have something in mind.”

The Ponsonby colours were also in the winner’s enclosure on Friday after Scarlet Dragon’s shock 33-1 success under Hollie Doyle.

King said: “I can’t say I expected Scarlet Dragon to win, but it was great he did. We’ll probably look at something at Goodwood or York for him.

“I think we’ll probably look towards Goodwood with Coeur De Lion. I was thinking about the Northumberland Plate midweek as he did run at Ascot and Newcastle last year, but I think now he’s won we can afford to give him a bit more time.

“We thought he had a good each-way chance and the rain that fell definitely helped.”

King came mighty close to saddling four winners across the five days, with Tritonic going down by just half a length to Highland Chief in the Thursday’s Golden Gates Handicap.

“I was thrilled with him – he’s a lovely prospect,” said King.

“The winner has some pretty smart form when you look back through it and we gave him a good race.

“Hopefully there’s plenty to look forward to and I wouldn’t be worried about stepping him up to a mile and a half at some stage.”

King revels in golden Ascot treble
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