King Arthur rules with an iron fist
Fitzsimmons-trained newcomer Hurricane blows rivals away at his barrier trial yesterda
These days – and no one is saying it should be otherwise – it is either Tim Fitzsimmons or Donna Logan.
Be it at the races or, even, at the trials.
Yesterday morning, with five trials contested, Fitzsimmons’ gallopers strode away with three victories.
But it was a Logan runner who lifted the honour for the most comprehensive win.
That one came courtesy of King Arthur who, like his lofty name, ruled the third trial of the day.
Then again, and in fairness to the “King”, Logan’s runner did not just win the trial.
He owned it.
From the time the field broke from the chutes and, in the 59.92sec it took the winner to complete the 1,000m trip, King Arthur reigned supreme.
With Blake Shinn in charge, the five-year-old hummed along.
The closest any horse got to him was when Muraahib reached his withers at the 60m marker.
Other than that, King Arthur had the trial all to himself.
Although the margin was just half a length, with Kharisma – the mount of Marc Lerner holding down second on the line – it was as complete as it could get.
King Arthur is really in a rich vein of form.
The win at the trials came in quick succession after he lifted the Better Life 2013 Stakes – a $100,000 Class 1 affair over 1,200m – on Singapore Derby Day.
That day, on July 17, Logan nominated her top apprentice, Yusoff Fadzli, as the rider on King Arthur and it certainly paid dividends.
Helped by his 3kg claim, King Arthur carried just 51kg and, while he did not get the cleanest of runs, horse and rider proved too slick over the 1,200m.
The win completed a hat-trick and it brought up King Arthur’s eighth win.
Owned by the Fortuna NZ Racing Stable, the “King” is not about to abdicate.
If anything, he might just decide to continue to rule – with an iron fist.
While that one belonged to Logan, it was a Fitzsimmons’ runner who got things going.
Hurricane is his name and, like that wind which inflicts devastation on whatever is in its path, he destroyed the opposition.
Ridden by Vlad Duric, Hurricane was content to have the dirt kicked back onto him by Fight On, the mount of Danny Beasley.
But enough is enough.
When the five-horse field straightened for the run home, Hurricane grew in intensity.
Fight On capitulated. Raise Your Glass (Matthew Kellady) raised a gallop and – so to speak – tried to get into the eye of the Hurricane.
But, as Jake Bayliss, the rider of Richaven, and Kellady soon discovered, there was nothing they or their mounts could do.
The fight was for second spot.
As for Hurricane, he got stronger and stronger.
When the finish loomed, he had put 6½ lengths between himself and Richaven, who nosed out Raise Your Glass for that consolation prize.
Hurricane and the two youngsters he beat were having their official race trials.
Their connections would have been pleased with the outcome.
For the record, Hurricane clocked 61.04sec.
Fitzsimmons’ other winners on the day were Teardrops in Trial 4 and Buuraq in the fifth.
Both runners led from go to whoa, with Teardrops clocking 60.78sec and Buuraq 61.51sec.
Keep an eye on the pair.
Fitzsimmons has them coming along nicely.