BigDaddy News

Horse Racing News

King Gold Wins Prix Maurice de Gheest in Photo Finish

Sometimes a group 1 doesn’t need a clash of racing superpowers or blue-blooded pedigrees to deliver and, in a desperate finish fought out between a rapidly improving 6-year-old in King Gold  and a resurgent Spycatcher , the Arc Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) did not disappoint. 

For King Gold’s trainer, Nicolas Caullery, there was the emotion of joining the group 1 winner’s club; for Karl Burke and the members of Highclere Racing’s Adriana Zaefferer syndicate, there was pride mixed with a fair degree of heartache, with the margin of defeat for Spycatcher a short head having led either side of the line. 

The Wokingham winner Saint Lawrence was just a neck away in third, while Art Power led through halfway before staying on to be fifth after looking likely to be cast adrift.

King Gold came back from a winter in Dubai a much-improved horse and, having knocked off a Quinte handicap on his return, has quickly moved through the ranks. 

Sign up for

“Of course, this is a huge moment,” said Caullery, who trains in the Chantilly satellite of Lamorlaye. “You have to run to have a chance of winning and there were plenty of English horses lining up to take us on, some very good horses.

“Winning any race is great but obviously a group 1 really gives you the desire to keep going.”

A hugely popular figure who makes his daily bread in races well below the rarefied atmosphere of group 1s, Caullery felt the weight of what had just happened in mid-interview, breaking off for a moment to compose himself. 

“It’s been a long road and now the pressure has come off,” said Caullery. “I’m thinking of my friends and family, and of my late mother, who is undoubtedly watching over me from above. It’s a lot of work, the work of the whole team.”

Caullery had not hidden his enthusiasm for King Gold’s prospects beforehand. He believes there is more to come from the entire son of Anodin , who was given a fine ride by Stephane Pasquier. 

“His last piece of work was very good and he really gave me chills,” said Caullery. “I called his owner-breeder and told him I’d never seen him so good.

“He’s just getting better and better and we’ve got lots of options with him. The main target is the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on his favorite track.”

While King Gold’s story may be atypical of a group 1 winner, Spycatcher would have been every bit as much of a Hollywood tale had he got the verdict.

“This horse was on the box, heading for retirement last year,” said Highclere principal Harry Herbert. “He had an issue, but Duncan Moir, the vet, said he’d seen the x-ray and he thought we could put this horse back together again if we did everything right. 

“Karl (Burke) and Duncan and everyone have got him to win a group 3 and come within a whisker of winning a group 1. It’s a remarkable training performance and all credit to everyone involved with him.” 

Herbert added: “It was a terrific run. He was traveling so well and Maxime Guyon had to go, there was no choice. The agony is that the other horse has come to him, passed him, and then he’s come back and got him just past the post. 

“He’s a fabulous horse, and, ground allowing, we’ll hopefully look at the Haydock Sprint Cup. He must have this easy ground.”

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID