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By Tom Peacock, PA Sport. Last Updated: 09/06/09 11:29am
Kingsgate Native - Golden Jubilee winner.
Kingsgate Native quashed any feeling he was just a one-hit wonder as John Best's colt became a dual Group One winner in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Although he had a giant weight advantage in last season's Nunthorpe Stakes, that was no mean feat as a rare two-year-old success in the York sprint and somehow he was allowed to be sent off at 33-1 here despite just two subsequent starts.
Those included a second in the Prix de l'Abbaye and he appeared to have been in need of his return run this year, when fourth-last in the King's Stand Stakes on Tuesday.
Kingsgate Native's usual rider Jimmy Quinn was replaced by Seb Sanders on his first attempt at six furlongs and while the 4-1 favourite Takeover Target and 8-1 shot War Artist appeared to have equal chances at the furlong marker, he saw them off with great strength.
Maidstone-based trainer Best, who saddled another surprise on Tuesday in 100-1 shock Flashmans Papers, said: "To have winners here is the ultimate.
"I thought 33-1 was a crazy price for him. He won the Nunthorpe last year and shouldn't have been anywhere near that price.
"He ran with the choke out a little bit earlier in the week. He's done a good job to come back so quickly. He's very relaxed and has done little at home since. He's been sat on once and apart from that he's been out in the field.
"The problem we had was that last year he was a very mature two-year-old and I felt the weight-for-age allowance was in his favour. I wasn't sure whether that would translate as a three-year-old.
"Now we'll have to go for the July Cup, then the Nunthorpe and the Prix de l'Abbaye."
Best hinted the choice to replace Quinn may have been made by Cheveley Park Stud, who now own his breeding rights.
He said: "It was a joint decision. We had to decide whether to try something different and Seb has ridden a lot of winners for Cheveley Park in the past.
"Jimmy has put in a lot of work on this horse, so I am sorry for him, but he'll be riding for us again."
Sanders added: "He carried me very easily to the two-pole and it was just a case of getting past those hardened horses in front.
"He's still improving and is going to be a star sprinter for a while."
Ex South African-trained War Artist was beaten a length and a quarter, lacking the pace of the winner but retaining enough in the tank to hold off the late rattle of Sir Gerry.
Trainer James Eustace reported: "I was delighted to be drawn in stall one and I was even more delighted when Takeover Target was drawn near us as he is always thereabouts in these races.
"He followed him through and it nearly paid off. But full credit to John Best for winning with a three-year-old.
"We will go to the July Cup next and then give serious thought to the Global Sprint Challenge."
The July Cup applies to both Sir Gerry - although James Fanshawe has a slight concern that he does not like Newmarket - and Australian raider Takeover Target, who finished in the first four on his sixth consecutive start at Royal Ascot.
"The ground was very firm the other day (in the King's Stand) and that might have jarred him up slightly," said Aussie handler Joe Janiak.
"We'll see what the problem is and hope he can run in the July Cup."
The hard-luck story was last year's July Cup victor Sakhee's Secret but trainer Hughie Morrison did not use the fact he got badly bumped at the three-pole as an excuse.
"Steve Drowne was never happy," he said. "Either we will find something wrong, or he just doesn't like the surface. It was slippery out there but he ran badly here as a two-year-old."