He made headlines back in October 2020 when he broke the record for the Tattersalls Autumn Horses in Training Sale when he changed hands for a purchase price of 925,000 guineas (approx $1.66m AUD).
We are talking about English King, a classy son of Camelot, who was always going to be one of the top lots on offer after he was after he was added as a ‘wildcard’ to the sales catalogue … and he will now once again be the focus of attention when he makes his Australian debut for the Mike Moroney stable in the Listed Golden Mile at Bendigo on Saturday.
English King is lightly raced. Saturday will only be his seventh start in a race.
English King won at the second time of asking over 2020m at Newmarket with Tom Marquand aboard and then took the next step up in style winning the Listed The Derby Trial at Lingfield Park, again with Marquand on board.
Then it was on to the Group 1 Epsom Derby itself where English King started second favourite, after holding favouritism in the weeks leading up to the race, but this time Tom Marquand was somewhat controversially replaced in the saddle by Frankie Dettori.
As it turned out, English King finished fifth in the Derby while Marquand nearly upstaged them all by finishing second on the $51 outsider Khalifa Sat behind the winner Serpentine.
English King ran twice after that, finished fourth in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and then sixth in the Group 1 G P De Paris at Longchamp, both races being won by the more than useful Aidan O’Brien trained Mogul.
The Paris run was in September 2020. English King was sold at the Tattersalls Sales a month later.
English king was consigned by Ed Walker Racing, his trainer until that time, and he was knocked down to bloodstock agent Armando Duarte whose successful bid of 925,000 guineas was made on behalf of Paul Moroney Bloodstock and his brother Mike Moroney’s Ballymore Stables.
“Through their joint sire Camelot and with similar race records at the same stage, English King maps the same as Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet. We’ve bought him for a syndicate headed by two New Zealand businessman and a collection of Ballymore Stables’ Australian clients,” said Paul Moroney at the time.
“He will likely race in our autumn, but next spring will be the main focus going forward,” added Paul Moroney.
And so English King came to Mike Moroney’s stables at Flemington with the absolute blessing of his former trainer Ed Walker who said after the sale, “”I am very grateful to the guys who bought him and wish them every bit of luck, and I hope he wins the Melbourne Cup for them. I think he is tailor-made for the Cup – he’ll stay, he travels, he loves fast ground and I will be thrilled if he does that for them.”
Well, the first step of that journey will be taken at Bendigo on Saturday where Daniel Stackhouse will get the leg up on to the horse.
English King will be first-up with six-and-a-half months in-between runs and racing on a different continent over a distance short of his best, but even with all of that, there can be no doubt that many racing enthusiasts around the country will be very keen to see English King in action.
English King runs in the eighth race at Bendigo on Saturday which is scheduled to jump at 4.50pm local time where he is $21 with Sportsbet.
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